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Clemson  Universit 



Fred  A.  Seaton,  Secretary 

Conrad  L.  Wirth,  Director 


This  publication  is  one  of  a  series  of  handbooks  describing  the 
historical  and  archeological  areas  in  the  National  Park  System 
administered  by  the  National  Park  Service  of  the  United  States 
Department  of  the  Interior.  It  is  printed  by  the  Government 
Printing  Office  and  may  be  purchased  from  the  Superintendent  of 
Documents,  Washington  25,  D.  C.     Price  25  cents. 

Jamestown,  Virginia 


By  Charles  E.  Hatch,  Jr. 

The  Seal  of 
His  Majesties  Council  of  Virginia" 

The  National  Park  Service 

cooperating  with 

The  Association  for  the  Preservation  of  Virginia  Antiquities 

Washington,  D.  C,  1949  (Revised  1957) 

This  publication  relates  to  Jamestown 
Island,  Va.  A  portion  of  Jamestown 
Island  is  included  in  Colonial  National 
Historical  Park  and  is  administered  by  the 
National  Park  Service  of  the  United  States 
Department  of  the  Interior.  Jamestown 
National  Historic  Site,  the  other  portion 
of  the  island,  is  administered  by  the  Asso- 
ciation for  the  Preservation  of  Virginia 
Antiquities.  A  cooperative  agreement  be- 
tween the  Association  and  the  Depart- 
ment of  the  Interior  has  been  in  effect  since 
1940  providing  for  a  unified  program  of 
development  for  the  whole  Jamestown 
Island  area. 













The  Memorial  Cross  at  Cape  Henry  which  marks  the  approximate  site 
of  the  first  landing  of  the  Jamestown  colonists  on  American  soil,  April 
26,  1607. 

Jamestown  is  the  site  of  the  first  permanent  English  settlement  in  America 
(1607 },  the  point  at  which  the  first  representative  legislative  assembly 
convened  (16 19)  to  set  a  pattern  for  self-government  in  America,  the  locale  of 
stirring  events  in  Bacon's  Rebellion  (1676-77),  and  the  capital  of  the  Colony  of 
Virginia  for  92  years  (1607-99). 

The  first  permanent  settlement  in  America  by  the  English  at  James- 
town was  a  visible  manifestation  of  the  determination  of  that  nation  to 
establish  itself  in  the  New  World.  The  overthrow  of  Spanish  seapower 
during  the  reign  of  Queen  Elizabeth  paved  the  way  for  English  coloniza- 
tion ventures.  Enterprising  Britons  had  already  established  their  influence 
in  India,  the  Near  East,  and  Russia.  Sir  Walter  Raleigh  had  made  several 
unsuccessful  attempts  to  establish  an  enduring  settlement  along  the 
Carolina  coast  at  Roanoke  Island,  events  now  commemorated  by  Fort 
Raleigh  National  Historic  Site,  and  Sir  Humphrey  Gilbert  had  tried,  to 
no  avail,  to  make  a  settlement  in  Newfoundland. 

It  remained  for  the  Virginia  Company  of  London,  under  its  charter  of 
April  10,  1606,  to  found  the  first  permanent  English  settlement  in 
America.  This  joint  stock  company,  a  commercial  organization,  from 
its  inception  assumed  a  national  character.  It  was  instrumental,  under 
its  charter  provisions,  in  guaranteeing  to  the  settlers  in  the  New  World 
the  rights,  freedoms,  and  privileges  enjoyed  by  Englishmen  at  home  and 
the  enjoyment  of  their  customary  manner  of  living  which  they  adapted 
to  their  new  environment  with  the  passage  of  years. 

Jamestown  was  the  site  of  the  first  settlement  that  grew  into  the 
Colony  of  Virginia  and  gave  heart  to  those  men  who  settled  the  colonies 
that  came  later.  The  first  Virginians  landed  in  May  1607,  built  houses 
and  a  fort,  planted  crops,  and  began  the  struggle  for  the  conquest  of  a 
vast  primitive  land.  They  brought  with  them  their  church  and  respect 
for  God,  maintained  trial  by  jury  and  their  rights  as  freemen,  and  soon 
were  developing  representative  government.  All  of  these  things  are  a 
part  of  the  story  of  Jamestown. 

In  the  words  of  James  Bryce,  British  Ambassador  to  the  United  States 
at  the  time  of  the  Jamestown  Tercentenary,  the  settlement  of 'James- 
town was  one  of  the  great  events  in  the  history  of  the  world— an  event 

to  be  compared  for  its  momentous  consequences  with  the  overthrow  of 
the  Persian  Empire  by  Alexander;  with  the  destruction  of  Carthage  by 
Rome;  with  the  conquest  of  Gaul  by  Clovis;  with  the  taking  of  Con- 
stantinople by  the  Turks— one  might  almost  say  with  the  discovery  of 
America  by  Columbus."  Here  was  born  the  great  English-speaking 
nation  beyond  the  seas,  of  which  Gilbert  and  Raleigh  had  dreamed;  and 
here  was  the  cradle  of  our  Republican  institutions  and  liberties. 

The  Story  of  Jamestown 

On  May  13,  1607,  three  small  English  ships  approached  Jamestown 
Island  in  Virginia— the  Susan  Constant  of  100  tons  commanded  by  Capt. 
Christopher  Newport  and  carrying  71  persons;  the  Godspeed  ot 40  tons 
commanded  by  Capt.  Bartholomew  Gosnold  and  carrying  52  persons; 
and  the  Discovery,  a  pinnace,  of  20  tons  under  Capt.  John  RatclifTe,  carry- 
ing 21  persons.  During  the  day  (as  George  Percy,  one  of  the  party  on 
board,  relates)  they  maneuvered  the  ships  so  close  to  the  shore  that  they 
were  "moored  to  the  Trees  in  six  fathom  [of]  water."  The  next  day,  May 
14,  he  continues,  "we  landed  all  our  men,  which  were  set  to  worke  about 
the  fortification,  others  some  to  watch  and  ward  as  it  was  convenient." 
Thus,  the  first  permanent  English  settlement  in  America  was  begun  on 
the  shores  of  the  James  River,  in  Virginia,  about  20  years  after  the  ill- 
fated  attempts  to  establish  a  colony  on  Roanoke  Island  and  13  years 
before  the  Pilgrims  made  their  historic  landing  at  Plymouth,  in  New 

the  English  background.  The  settlement  at  Jamestown,  in  1607,  was 
another  step,  albeit  a  most  significant  step,  in  England's  quest  for  a  place 
in  the  vast  New  World  first  indicated  by  Columbus  in  his  discovery  of 
1492  and  made  known  to  Europe  through  his  and  other  expeditions. 
King  Henry  VII  of  England  early  sought  to  establish  a  claim  in  North 
America  and  sponsored  the  now  famous  voyage  of  John  and  Sebastian 
Cabot  in  1497-  The  Cabots  touched  points  along  the  Atlantic  coast,  and 
their  discoveries  were  ever  afterward  pointed  to  with  pride  by  English- 
men discussing  their  rights  in  the  New  World.  As  William  Strachey 
wrote,  in  1612,  "...  our  voyages  hither  for  a  while  might  seeme  to  lye 
slumbering,  yet  our  tytle  could  not  thereby  out  sleepe  ytself  .  .  .". 
Despite  this,  England  was  occupied  at  home  and  in  Europe  and  did  not 
press  this  advantage.  Spain  took  the  lead  in  colonial  settlement  and  held 
it  for  decades.  How  many  Englishmen  set  foot  on  the  North  American 
continent  in  the  first  three-quarters  of  the  16th  century  may  never  be 
known.  They  were  no  strangers  in  the  fishing  waters  off  Newfoundland, 
and  in  this  region  there  appear  to  have  been  landings  and  temporary 
settlements.  Even  so,  serious  attempts  at  colonization  did  not  begin  until 
the  reign  of  Queen  Elizabeth,  and  then  it  was  pushed  vigorously  by  men 

of  the  mark  of  Sir  Humphrey  Gilbert,  Sir  Walter  Raleigh,  and  their 

Sir  Humphrey  lost  his  life  in  1583  when  returning  from  his  attempted 
settlement  of  St.  John's  Port,  Newfoundland.  Sir  Walter  Raleigh  dili- 
gently sought  to  establish  the  English  flag  to  the  south.  He  sent  out  two 
colonial  expeditions  to  found  a  settlement  on  Roanoke  Island  in  present 
eastern  North  Carolina.  Both  failed  in  their  over-all  purpose.  It  was  the 
expedition  of  1587  (the  last)  which  set  sail  for  the  Chesapeake  Bay 
country  and  landed  on  Roanoke  Island  that  has  come  down  to  us  as  the 
"Lost  Colony"— the  settlement  that  saw  the  birth  of  Virginia  Dare  and 
that  left  the  baffling  inscription  suggesting  that  the  members  of  the 
colony  moved,  willingly  or  unwillingly,  to  be  with  the  Croatan  Indians 
who  lived  not  far  from  Roanoke.  The  early  men  at  Jamestown  knew  of 
their  countrymen  who  were  lost  in  America  and  were  under  orders  to 
seek  them.  This  they  did,  but  their  search  went  unrewarded. 

By  1600,  England  was  readying  herself  for  a  concerted  drive  to  estab- 
lish colonies  in  the  New  World.  The  way  had  been  prepared  by  the  far- 
sighted  Queen  Elizabeth  and  her  supporters.  Within  England  there  had 
been  growth;  capital  had  accumulated;  industry  was  taking  root;  com- 
mercial organization  was  beginning;  and  Englishmen  were  ready  for  new 
adventures.  Outwardly,  England  had  grown  through  its  naval  successes 
and  had  developed  a  keen  hostility  to  Spain.  Individual  Englishmen, 
each  depending  on  his  own  circumstances,  were  seeking  more  profitable 
employment,  personal  freedom  (particularly  religious  liberty),  land 
ownership,  personal  advancement,  adventure,  and  just  plain  change.  A 
new  England  was  in  the  making  and  the  British  Empire  was  about  to 
rise  in  the  West  and  in  the  Orient  as  well.  With  the  accession  of  James  I 
to  the  English  throne,  peace  was  made  with  Spain,  a  peace  that  was 
maintained  although  it  was  an  uneasy  one— from  time  to  time  little 
more  than  an  armed  truce.  Yet,  because  of  it,  English  capital  came  out 
of  hiding  and  sought  profitable  investment.  Business  development 
increased  and  joint  stock  companies  began  to  organize  for  overseas 

Colonization  was  expensive,  however,  and  required  the  pooled 
resources  of  many  men.  Advertising,  which  reached  a  peak  early  in 
the  17th  century,  was  put  to  work  in  a  manner  that  would  do  credit 
to  the  present  day.  Its  use  in  commerce  and  government  is  by  no  means 
of  recent  date.  Spokesmen— speakers,  writers,  poets,  pamphleteers,  play- 
wrights, and  preachers— solicited  all  England  to  take  part  in  these  new 
endeavors  which,  in  their  words,  gave  every  assurance  of  profitable  return. 

The  exploits  of  men  such  as  Raleigh  and  Gilbert,  Martin  Frobisher, 
Michael  Lok,  John  Davis,  Thomas  Cavendish,  Sir  Francis  Drake,  and  Sir 
John  Hawkins  had  already  made  England  conscious  of  the  potentialities 
of  the  New  World  and  of  the  need  to  seek  a  part  of  it.  Others  followed 
these  earlier  leaders.  In  1602  Raleigh  sent  yet  another  ship  under  Samuel 
Mace  to  seek  the  lost  settlers  of  Roanoke,  and  in  the  same  year  a  vessel 

went  out  under  Bartholomew  Gosnold  who  attempted  a  settlement  on 
Elizabeth's  Island  in  present  Massachusetts.  Gosnold  and  another  in 
this  party,  Gabriel  Archer,  were  to  become  prominent  later  in  the 
Jamestown  settlement.  In  1603,  Martin  Pring  made  a  voyage  along  the 
northern  part  of  Virginia.  In  1605,  came  the  expedition  under  George 
Weymouth  to  the  Kennebec  River  on  the  New  England  coast.  He  spent 
some  weeks  here  and  returned  to  England  carrying  with  him  several 
Indian  natives  from  that  region. 

On  April  10,  1606,  the  first  Virginia  charter  received  the  great  seal 
of  England.  This  document  recognized  two  groups  and  two  spheres 
of  influence  that  would  fall  between  the  thirty-fourth  and  forty- fifth 
parallels  of  north  latitude  along  the  American  coast.  One  was  interested 
in  North  Virginia  and  was  granted  to  Thomas  Hanham,  Raleigh  Gilbert, 
William  Parker,  George  Popham,  and  others  of  and  for  Plymouth  and 
other  English  places.  This  group  was  first  in  the  field  with  exploration, 
dispatching  a  ship  in  August  1606  under  Henry  Challons.  In  May  1607, 
they  sent  a  colony  to  the  mouth  of  the  Kennebec  in  Maine,  but,  in  the 
spring  of  1608,  after  a  severe  winter,  the  settlement  was  given  up. 

The  second  group,  organized  under  the  charter  of  1606,  was  that 
interested  in  south  Virginia.  This  patent  went  to  Sir  Thomas  Gates,  Sir 
George  Somers,  Richard  Hakluyt,  Edward  Maria  Wingfield,  and  others 
of  and  for  the  city  of  London.  The  treasurer  of  the  group  was  Sir  Thomas 
Smith,  one  of  the  most  capable  businessmen  of  the  day.  Richard 
Hakluyt,  the  foremost  authority  on  travel,  foreign  regions,  and  coloniza- 
tion in  general,  assembled  helpful  data  and  had  a  large  part  in  the  prep- 
aration of  instructions  and  orders  for  those  to  be  sent  out  as  colonists. 
It  was  this  group  and  their  associates  that  organized,  financed,  and  di- 
rected the  expedition  that  reached  Jamestown  on  May  13,  1607,  and  saw 
to  it  that  supplies  came  through  and  reinforcements  were  procured  in 
the  lean  years  of  the  settlement. 

The  immediate  and  long-range  reasons  for  the  settlement  were  many 
and,  perhaps,  thoroughly  mixed.  Profit  and  exploitation  of  the  country 
were  expected,  for,  after  all,  this  was  a  business  enterprise  and  they  were 
necessary  for  long-range  activity.  A  permanent  settlement  was  the  ob- 
jective. Support,  financial  and  popular,  came  from  a  cross  section  of 
English  life.  It  seems  obvious  from  accounts  and  papers  of  the  period 
that  it  was  generally  thought  that  Virginia  was  being  settled  for  the 
glory  of  God,  for  the  honor  of  the  King,  for  the  welfare  of  England,  and 
for  the  advancement  of  the  Company  and  its  individual  members.  In 
England  and  in  Virginia  they  expected  and  did  carry  the  word  of  God 
to  the  natives,  although  not  with  the  same  verve  as  the  Spanish.  They 
expected  to  develop  natural  resources,  to  free  the  mother  country  from 
dependence  on  European  states,  to  strengthen  their  navy,  and  to  increase 
national  wealth  and  power.  They  expected  to  be  a  thorn  in  the  side  of 
the  Spanish  Empire;  in  fact,  they  hoped  one  day  to  challenge  and  over- 
shadow that  empire.  They  sought  to  find  the  answer  to  agricultural 

unemployment  at  home.  They  sought  many  things,  not  the  least  of 
them  being  gold,  silver,  and  land.  As  the  men  stepped  ashore  on  James- 
town Island,  perhaps  each  had  a  slightly  different  view  of  why  he  was 
there,  yet  some  one  or  a  combination  of  these  motives  was  probably  the 

the  first  days  in  Virginia.  The  expedition  of  1607  included  a  cargo 
of  supplies  and  144  persons,  of  whom  104  or  105  (depending  on  which 
of  the  more  detailed  contemporary  accounts  is  accepted)  were  to  remain 
in  Virginia  as  the  first  settlers.  The  expedition  left  England  late  in  1606. 
The  ships  sailed  down  the  Thames  River  from  London  on  December  20 
and,  after  a  slow  start,  they  proceeded  over  the  long  route  through  the 
West  Indies.  There  were  stops  in  the  islands,  new  experiences,  and  dis- 
agreements among  the  leaders.  Captain  Newport  was  in  command,  and 
the  identity  of  the  councilors  who  were  to  govern  in  Virginia  lay  hidden 
in  a  locked  box  not  to  be  opened  until  their  destination  had  been 
reached.  Dissension  at  one  point  led  to  charges  against  Capt.  John 
Smith  who  reached  the  New  World  in  confinement.  This  was  suggestive 
of  the  later  personal  and  group  feuds  arid  disagreements  that  plagued 
the  first  years  of  the  Virginia  Colony. 

The  "Land  of  Virginia"  was  first  seen  by  the  lookout  on  April  26,  and 
just  a  little  later  in  the  same  day  a  party  was  sent  ashore  at  Cape  Henry 
to  make  what  was  the  first  landing  in  the  wilderness  which  they  came 

The  arrival  of  the  settlers  at  Jamestown  in   1607.   (A  painting  by 
Griffith  Baily  Coale  in  the  State  Capitol,  Richmond,   Va.) 


to  conquer.  Having  been  aboard  ship  for  many  weeks,  the  settlers  found 
the  expanse  of  land,  the  green  virgin  trees,  the  cool,  fresh  water,  and  the 
unspoiled  landscape  a  pleasant  view  to  behold.  At  Cape  Henry  they  saw 
Indians  and  several  of  the  party  were  wounded  by  their  arrows,  notably 
Capt.  Gabriel  Archer,  one  of  the  experienced  leaders.  They  built  a 
"shallop"  (a  small  boat),  went  exploring  into  the  country  for  short 
distances  by  land  and  water,  enjoyed  the  spring  flowers,  and  tasted 
roasted  oysters  and  "fine  beautiful  strawberries."  On  April  29,  a  cross 
was  set  up  among  the  sand  dunes.  The  next  day  the  ships  were  moved 
from  Cape  Henry  into  Chesapeake  Bay  to  the  site  on  Hampton  Roads 
which  they  named  Point  Comfort  (now  Old  Point  Comfort). 

For  about  2  weeks,  explorations  were  made  along  both  banks  of  the 
James,  below  and  above  Jamestown,  from  its  mouth  to  a  point  as  far 
upstream  perhaps  as  the  Appomattox  River  (Hopewell,  Va.).  Parties 
went  ashore  to  investigate  promising  areas,  and  communication  was 
established  with  the  native  tribes.  On  May  12,  a  point  of  land  at  the 
mouth  of  Archer's  Hope  (now  College)  Creek,  a  little  below  James- 
town, was  examined  in  detail.  Capt.  Gabriel  Archer  was  particularly 
impressed  with  this  location  and  urged  that  it  be  the  point  of  settlement. 
The  soil  seemed  good,  timber  and  wildlife  were  abundant,  and  it  ap- 
peared adaptable  for  defensive  measures  if  these  should  become  neces- 
sary. It  was  not  possible,  however,  to  bring  the  ships  close  to  the  shore, 
and  consequently  Archer's  Hope  was  rejected.  From  this  site  the  ships 
moved  directly  to  Jamestown,  where  they  arrived  May  13.  On  May  14, 
they  landed  and  broke  ground  for  the  fort  and  the  town  that  ultimately 
won  the  distinction  of  the  first  permanent  English  settlement  in 
America  and  the  capital  of  the  Virginia  Colony  for  almost  a  century. 

In  May  1607,  the  days  were  warm,  the  nights,  cool.  Life  was  stirring 
in  the  wilderness  and  nature  had  been  generous,  the  colonists  thought. 
There  were  fruits,  abundant  timber,  deer  and  other  animals  for  food,  and 
a  not  too  numerous  native  population.  The  hot,  humid  weather  of  mid- 
summer and  the  snow,  ice,  and  emptiness  of  winter  were  not  in  evidence. 
The  choice  of  a  site  for  settlement  was  both  good  and  bad.  The  anchor- 
age for  ships  at  Jamestown  was  good.  The  island  had  not  then  become 
a  true  island  and  had  an  easily  controlled  dry  land  isthmus  connection 
with  the  mainland.  As  the  river  narrows  here,  it  was  one  of  the  best  con- 
trol points  on  the  James.  It  was  not  used  by  the  Indians;  and  it  was  a 
bit  inland,  hence  somewhat  out  of  range  of  the  Spanish  menace.  Arable 
land  on  the  island  was  limited  by  inlets  and  "guts."  The  swamps  were 
close  and  bred  mosquitoes  in  abundance  and,  with  contamination  so 
easy,  drinking  water  was  a  problem.  All  of  these  facts  became  evident  to 
these  first  English  Americans  as  the  months  went  by. 

When  the  orders  were  opened  after  arrival  in  Virginia,  it  was  found 
that  the  governing  body  in  the  colony  was  to  be  made  up  of  seven  coun- 
cilors. They  were  Edward  Maria  Wingfield,  of  gallant  service  in  the  Low 
Countries;  Bartholomew  Gosnold   and  Christopher  Newport,  both 

seasoned  seamen  and  captains;  John  Ratcliffe,  who  piloted  the  Discovery 
to  Virginia;  John  Martin,  an  earlier  commander  under  Drake;  John 
Smith,  already  an  experienced  adventurer;  and  George  Kendall,  a  cousin 
of  Sir  Edwin  Sandys  who  later  was  to  play  a  dominant  role  in  the 
Virginia  Company.  To  this  list  can  be  added  other  prominent  names- 
George  Percy,  brother  to  the  Earl  of  Northumberland  and  a  trained 
sailor;  Gabriel  Archer,  a  lawyer  who  had  already  explored  in  the  New 
England  country;  and  Rev.  Robert  Hunt,  the  vicar  at  Jamestown,  whose 
pious  and  exemplary  living  was  noted  by  his  associates. 

the  fort.  The  work  of  establishing  Jamestown  and  of  exploring  the 
country  round  about  began  almost  simultaneously.  The  several  weeks 
between  May  13  and  June  22,  when  Newport  left  Virginia  for  a  return 
to  England,  were  busy  ones.  At  Jamestown  an  area  was  cleared  of  trees 
and  the  fort  begun.  The  soil  was  readied  and  the  English  wheat  brought 
over  for  the  purpose  was  planted.  At  this  point  Newport,  in  one  of  the 
small  boats,  led  an  exploring  party  as  far  as  the  falls  of  the  James  (near 
present  Richmond) .  He  was  successful  in  learning  a  great  deal  about  the 
country,  but  did  not  succeed  in  his  search  for  gold  or  silver.  He  was 
absent  from  Jamestown  about  a  week  and  returned  to  find  that  the 
Indians  had  launched  a  fierce  attack  on  the  new  settlement  which  had 
been  saved,  perhaps,  by  the  fact  that  the  ships  were  near  at  hand.  These 
afforded  safe  quarters  and  carried  cannon  on  their  decks  that  had  a 
frightening  effect  on  the  natives. 

The  fort  was  completed  about  mid-June.  It  was  triangular  in  shape, 
with  a  "Bui war ke"  at  each  corner  which  was  shaped  like  a  "halfe 
Moone."  Within  the  "Bulwarkes"  were  mounted  4  or  5  pieces  of 
artillery— demiculverins  which  fired  balls  of  about  9  pounds  in  weight. 
The  fort  enclosed  about  1  acre  with  its  river  side  extending  420  feet  and 
its  other  sides  measuring  300  feet.  The  principal  gate  faced  the  river  and 
was  in  the  south  side  (curtain)  of  the  fort,  although  there  were  other 
openings,  one  at  each  "Bulwarke,"  and  each  was  protected  by  a  piece  of 
ordnance.  The  church,  storehouses,  and  living  quarters  were  flimsily 
built  of  perishable  materials,  within  the  walls  of  the  palisaded  fort,  along 
fixed  streets  arranged  around  an  open  yard.  For  the  first  few  years  this 
fort  was  Jamestown. 

Before  the  fort  was  completed  the  wheat  had  come  up  and  was  grow- 
ing nicely,  as  George  Percy  wrote  in  what  was  probably  the  first  essay 
on  farming  along  the  James  River.  About  June  10,  John  Smith,  partly 
through  the  intercession  of  Robert  Hunt,  was  released  and  admitted  to 
his  seat  on  the  council.  Relations  with  the  Indians  improved.  On  June 
21,  the  third  Sunday  after  Trinity,  the  first  recorded  Anglican  com- 
munion at  Jamestown  was  celebrated.  "We  had  a  comunyon.  Capt. 
Newport  dyned  ashore  with  our  dyet,  and  invyted  many  of  us  to  supper 
as  a  farewell."  The  next  day,  Christopher  Newport  raised  anchor  and 
began  the  return  trip  to  England.  He  took  letters  from  those  to  remain 

in  Virginia  and  carried  accounts  describing  Virginia  and  the  events  that 
had  occurred.  The  settlement  had  been  made,  and  the  future  seemed 

summer  and  autumn,  1607.  Within  the  short  span  of  2  months,  condi- 
tions changed  drastically.  The  Indians  became  cautious  and  distrustful, 
and  provisions,  not  sufficiently  augmented  from  the  country,  began  to 
run  low.  Spoilage  destroyed  some  food,  and,  with  the  coming  of  the  hot, 
.humid  weather,  the  brackish  drinking  water  proved  dangerous.  In 
August,  death  struck  often  and  quickly,  taking  among  others  the 
stabilizing  hand  of  Captain  Gosnold.  Inexperience,  unwillingness,  or  in- 
ability to  do  the  hard  work  that  was  necessary  and  the  lack  of  sufficient 
information  about  how  to  survive  in  a  primeval  wilderness  led  to  bicker- 
ing, disagreements,  and,  to  what  was  more  serious  still,  inaction.  They 
forgot  a  most  important  bit  of  advice  that  had  been  given  them  by  "His 
Majesties  Council  for  Virginia":  "...  the  way  to  prosper  and  achieve 
good  success  is  to  make  yourselves  all  of  one  mind  for  the  good  of  your 
country  and  your  own  .  .  .". 

On  arrival  in  Virginia  the  resident  councilors,  as  outlined  in  their 
orders,  met  and  named  one  of  their  number  as  president.  Real  power 
was  with  the  council,  however,  and  the  president  was  without  actual 
independent  authority.  This  was  a  serious  defect  (corrected  in  the  sec- 
ond company  charter  in  1609)  which  prevented  a  well-directed  and 
coordinated  program  at  Jamestown  during  the  first  3  years.  As  the 
first  summer  wore  on  it  was  natural  that  hostility  should  develop 
toward  the  titular  head  of  the  colony.  Had  the  first  president,  Edward 
Maria  Wingfield,  been  a  stronger,  more  adventurous,  and  more  dar- 
ing man,  conditions  might  have  been  a  little  better,  despite  his  lack 
of  real  authority.  He  was  not  the  leader,  however,  to  act  and  to  reason 
later.  Consequently,  opinion  was  arrayed  against  him  and  charges,  some 
unjust  no  doubt,  were  formed  that  led  to  his  deposition  and  replace- 
ment in  one  of  the  two  celebrated  jury  trials  which  occurred  at  James- 
town about  mid-September.  His  successor,  perhaps  no  more  able,  was 
John  Ratcliffe  who  continued  for  about  a  year  until  deposed  and  replaced 
by  Matthew  Scrivener,  one  of  those  who  came  over  with  the  first  supply. 
It  was  a  little  later,  in  1608,  that  Capt.  John  Smith  took  the  helm  as 
chief  councilor,  which  was  what  the  president  really  was.  It  was  under 
the  presidency  of  RatclifTe,  however,  that  Smith  emerged  as  an  able,  ex- 
perienced leader,  who  preferred  action  to  inaction  even  though  it  might 
be  questioned  later.  His  work  and  his  decisions,  sometimes  wise,  some- 
times not  so  wise,  did  much  to  insure  the  survival  of  the  colony. 

When  the  first  cool  days  of  approaching  autumn  touched  Jamestown 
in  1607,  spirits  rose  and  hopefulness  supplanted  despair.  Disease,  which 
had  reduced  the  number  to  less  than  50  persons,  subsided;  the  oppres- 
sive heat  lessened;  and  Indian  crops  of  peas,  corn,  and  beans  began  to 
mature.  Friendlier  relations  were  established  with  the  natives,  and  barter 

Statue  of  Capt.  John  Smith,  by   William  Couper.   The  Old  Church 
Tower  is  in  the  background. 

trade  developed.  As  the  leaves  fell,  game  became  easier  to  get,  ducks 
multiplied  in  the  ponds  and  marshes,  and  life  in  general  seemed  brighter. 
Work  was  resumed  at  Jamestown  in  preparation  for  the  coming  winter, 
and  exploration  was  undertaken.  It  was  in  December,  while  investigat- 
ing the  Chickahominy  River  area,  that  Smith  was  taken  by  the  Indians. 
He  was  eventually  carried  before  Powhatan  who  released  him,  some  say 
through  the  intercession  of  the  young  Pocahontas.  This  incident  Smith 
did  not  mention  in  his  detailed  account  of  the  events  of  the  Colony  writ- 
ten several  months  later.  It  was  not  until  a  number  of  years  later,  in  fact, 
that  this  romantic  story  evolved  in  its  present  form. 

the  first  supply.  Upon  returning  to  Jamestown,  Smith  was  caught  in 
the  meshes  of  a  feuding  council.  All  was  forgotten  early  in  January, 
however,  when  Newport  reached  Jamestown  with  the  first  supply  for 
the  settlers.  He  brought  food,  equipment,  instructions,  and  news  from 
home.  His  cargo  was  not  sufficient,  but  for  the  moment  this  was  over- 
looked. The  two  ships  of  the  supply  had  left  England  together,  but  the 
second  did  not  reach  Virginia  until  April. 

Shortly  after  Newport's  arrival  in  January,  disaster  came  to  Jamestown. 
Fire  swept  through  the  fort,  consuming  habitations,  provisions,  ammuni- 
tion, and  even  some  of  the  palisades.  This  was  a  serious  blow  in  the  face 
of  winter  weather.  With  the  help  of  Newport  and  his  sailors,  the  church, 
storehouse,  palisades,  and  cabins  were  partially  rebuilt  before  he  sailed 
again  for  England  early  in  April.  Much  more  could  have  been  done  had 

he  not  consumed  so  many  days  in  a  pompous  visit  and  lengthy  negotia- 
tions with  the  wily  Powhatan.  Then,  too,  the  ships  had  to  be  loaded  for 
the  return  voyage,  for  the  London  backers  were  loudly  calling  for 
profitable  produce.  The  first  of  the  spring  months  were  spent  in  cutting 
cedar  logs  and  preparing  "clapboards"  for  sale  in  England,  and  a  little 
later  there  seems  to  have  been  a  mild  "gold  rush"  at  Jamestown  as  some 
hopeful  looking  golden  colored  soil  was  found.  This  all  delayed  early 
spring  clearing  and  planting,  and  boded  ill  for  the  coming  summer  when 
Ratcliffe  wasted  precious  days  building  a  house  suitable  to  his  position 
and  Smith  engaged  in  important,  yet  not  particularly  pressing, 

the  first  marriage  at  jamestown.  It  was  in  September  1608  that 
Smith  became  president  in  fact  and  inaugurated  a  program  of  physical 
improvement  at  Jamestown.  The  area  about  the  fort  was  enlarged  and 
the  standing  structures  repaired.  At  this  point,  in  October,  the  second 
supply  arrived,  including  70  settlers,  who,  when  added  to  the  survivors 
in  Virginia,  raised  the  over-all  population  to  about  120.  Among  the  new 
arrivals  were  two  women— Mistress  Forrest  and  her  maid.  Several 
months  later,  in  the  church  at  Jamestown,  the  maid,  Ann  Burras,  was 
married  to  one  of  the  settlers,  John  Laydon,  a  carpenter  by  trade.  This 
marriage  has  been  ranked  as  "the  first  recorded  English  marriage  on  the 
soil  of  the  United  States."  Their  child,  Virginia,  born  the  next  year,  was 
the  first  to  be  born  at  Jamestown.  Here  was  the  beginning  of  family  life 
in  the  new  colony.  Soon  other  women  would  arrive  to  help  continue,  or 
to  establish,  new  homes. 

THE  SECOND  SUPPLY  AND  EARLY  INDUSTRY.  With  the  Second  Supply 

came  workmen  sent  over  to  produce  glass,  pitch,  soap  ashes,  and  other 
items  profitable  in  England.  These  men,  including  some  Poles  and 
Dutchmen,  were  quickly  assigned  to  specific  duties.  So  rapidly  did  they 
begin  that  "trials"  of  at  least  one  product,  glass,  were  sent  home  when 
Newport  left  Jamestown  before  the  end  of  the  year.  As  usual,  in  addi- 
tion to  settlers  and  supplies,  Newport  brought  more 'instructions  from 
the  company  officials.  The  colony  was  not  succeeding  financially,  and 
it  was  urged  that  the  council  spend  more  time  in  the  preparation  of 
marketable  products.  It  was  urged,  too,  that  gold  be  sought  more 
actively;  that  Powhatan  be  crowned  as  a  recognition  befitting  his  posi- 
tion; and  that  more  effort  be  expended  in  search  of  the  Roanoke  settlers. 
These  things  were  all  desirable,  but,  at  the  moment,  impracticable.  No 
one  understood  this  better  than  did  Smith,  who  spoke  his  mind  freely 
in  a  letter  he  wrote  for  dispatch  to  the  authorities  at  home.  Never- 
theless, these  projects  were  emphasized,  and  the  more  pressing  needs  of 
adequate  shelter  and  sufficient  food  were  neglected. 

In  the  interval  from  about  February  to  May  1609,  Smith  reported  con- 
siderable material  progress  in  and  about  Jamestown.  Perhaps  40  acres 


The  four  glass  furnaces  located  by  archeological  excavation  on  Glass- 
house Point. 

were  cleared  and  prepared  for  planting  in  Indian  corn,  the  new  grain 
that  fast  became  a  staple  commodity.  A  deep  well  was  dug  in  the 
fort.  The  church  was  re-covered  and  20  cabins  built.  A  second  trial  was 
made  at  glass  manufacture  in  the  furnaces  built  late  in  1608.  A  block- 
house was  built  at  the  isthmus  which  connected  the  island  l  to  the  main- 
land for  better  control  of  the  Indians,  and  a  new  fort  was  erected  on  a 
little  creek  across  the  river  from  Jamestown.  Smith  was  now  in  com- 
mand, as  his  fellow  councilors  either  had  returned  to  England  or  were 
dead.  About  this  time  there  came  a  new  disaster.  With  all  attention  cen- 
tered on  the  numerous  construction  projects,  insufficient  protection  was 
given  the  meager  supply  of  grain.  When  discovered,  rats  had  consumed 
almost  all  of  the  corn  stores.  Faced  with  this  situation,  Smith  found  it 
necessary  to  scatter  the  settlers,  sending  some  to  live  with  the  Indians 
and  some  to  eat  at  the  oyster  banks  where  the  unbalanced  oyster  diet 
is  reported  to  have  caused  their  skin  "to  peel  off  from  head  to  foot  as  if 
they  had  been  fleade."  Only  "a  small  guarde  of  gentlemen  &  some  others 
[were  left]  about  the  president  at  James  Towne." 

In  midsummer  of  1609,  conditions  at  Jamestown  were  not  good, 
although  it  is  doubtful  that  they  were  any  worse  than  during  the  two 
previous  summers.  The  settlers  were  becoming  acclimated,  and  they 

1  Although  Jamestown  Island  was  not  a  true  island  until  the  isthmus  was  washed  out 
about  the  period  of  the  Revolution,  it  was  called  an  island  even  in  the  early  years  of  the 


were  learning  the  ways  of  the  new  country.  Supplies  were  low,  yet  the 
number  of  colonists  was  small,  and  a  good  harvest  and  a  good  autumn 
might  have  improved  matters  had  not  some  400  new,  inexperienced 
settlers  sailed  into  the  James  without  their  leaders,  without  instructions, 
and  with  damaged  supplies.  To  add  to  other  complications,  they  brought 
fever  and  plague.  In  the  selection  of  prospective  settlers  for  the  voyage 
the  standards  had  been  low,  and  too  many  ne'er-do-wells,  and  even 
renegades,  had  been  included.  This  was  the  third  supply,  and  it  reached 
Jamestown  in  August  1609. 

pany had  received  a  new  charter  in  May  1609  which  corrected  some  of 
the  defects  of  the  old  and  made  provision  for  a  strong  governor  to  rule 
in  the  Colony.  Despite  discouraging  news  from  Virginia,  the  supporters 
of  the  enterprise  did  not  abandon  their  plans  to  maintain  the  colony. 
The  second  charter,  as  this  was  called,  was  subscribed  and  incorporated 
by  56  companies  of  London  and  659  persons,  of  whom  21  were  peers,  96 
knights,  11  doctors,  ministers,  etc.,  53  captains,  28  esquires,  58  gentle- 
men, 110  merchants,  282  citizens,  and  others  not  classified.  Altogether 
they  represented  a  cross  section  of  English  life  in  that  period. 

It  was  resolved  to  send  a  much  larger  expedition  to  Virginia  than  the 
three  sent  prior  to  this  date.  It  went  out  in  June  under  Sir  Thomas  Gates 
and  with  him  were  Sir  George  Somers  and  Captain  Newport.  There 
were  9  ships  and  about  500  settlers.  The  voyage  was  uneventful  until 
they  ran  into  a  stiff  hurricane  that  broke  up  the  fleet  and  cast  ashore 
in  the  Bermuda  Islands  the  flagship  with  its  three  commanders.  The  rest 
of  the  fleet,  except  one  small  ship  lost  at  sea,  limped  into  the  James  and 
went  on  to  Jamestown. 

Returning  to  Virginia  in  the  third  supply  were  several  men  who  had 
been  earlier  leaders  in  the  colony  and  who  were  now  all  hostile  to 
Smith— Archer,  Ratcliffe,  and  Martin.  A  confusing  scene  developed  over 
command.  The  old  leaders,  particularly  Smith,  refused  to  give  way  to 
the  new  in  the  absence  of  Gates,  the  appointed  governor,  and  his  in- 
structions. There  was  considerable  bickering  which  led  to  an  uneasy 
settlement,  leaving  Smith  in  charge  for  the  duration  of  his  yearly  term, 
now  almost  expired. 

It  was  obvious  to  everyone  that  there  were  too  many  men  for  all  to 
remain  at  Jamestown.  John  Martin  was  sent  to  attempt  a  settlement  at 
Nansemond,  on  the  south  side  of  the  James  below  Jamestown,  while 
Capt.  Francis  West,  brother  of  Lord  Delaware,  was  sent  to  settle  at  the 
falls  of  the  James.  Returning  to  Jamestown  after  an  inspection  tour  at 
the  falls,  Captain  Smith  was  injured  by  burning  gunpowder  and  incapaci- 
tated. The  implication  in  the  documents  of  the  period  is  that  Ratcliffe, 
Archer,  and  Martin  used  this  opportunity  to  depose  him  and  to  compel 
him  to  return  to  England  to  face  their  charges  against  him.  These  three 
men,  failing  to  agree  on  a  replacement  from  their  own  number,  per- 


suaded  George  Percy  to  accept  the  position  of  president.  Percy  was  in 
command  during  the  terrible  winter  that  followed. 

the  "starving  time."  The  winter  of  1609-10  has  been  described 
through  the  years  as  the  "starving  time"  — seemingly,  an  accurate  de- 
scription. It  saw  the  population  shrink  from  500  to  about  60  as  a  result 
of  disease,  sickness,  Indian  arrows,  and  malnutrition.  It  destroyed  morale 
and  reduced  the  men  to  scavengers  stalking  the  fort,  fields,  and  woods 
for  anything  that  might  be  used  as  food.  When  spring  came  there  was 
little  spirit  left  in  the  settlement.  It  would  seem  unjust  to  attribute  the 
disaster  to  Percy,  who  did  what  he  could  to  ameliorate  conditions  by 
attempting  trade  and  keeping  the  men  busy.  The  "starving  time" 
appears  to  have  been  caused  by  an  accumulation  of  circumstances. 

There  was  the  matter  of  the  third  supply  which  arrived  in  such  poor 
condition  very  late  in  the  season.  Bickering  prevented  measures  that 
could  have  been  taken  to  prepare  for  the  winter.  Dissension  continued 
even  after  Smith's  departure.  Then,  too,  the  Indians  knew  of  conditions 
at  Jamestown,  for  they  actually  kept  scouts  in  the  fort  much  of  the  time. 
They  were  learning  the  ways  of  the  white  man  and  had  come  to  see  that 
he  was  most  vulnerable  in  the  winter  season.  Heretofore  they  had  sup- 
plied him  corn— by  gift,  by  trade,  or  unwillingly  through  seizure.  In  the 
winter  of  1609-10,  they  had  a  good  opportunity  to  make  him  suffer,  and 
throughout  this  period  the  Indians  were  openly  hostile.  Perhaps  the 
increasingly  heavy  use  of  force  and  armed  persuasion  in  dealing  with 
them  had  resulted  in  this  attitude  which,  from  their  point  of  view,  proved 
highly  effective.  In  the  fall  of  1608,  they  had  forced  the  settlers  in  from 
Nansemond  and  the  falls.  Then,  in  the  winter  of  1609-10,  Powhatan 
captured  and  killed  Ratcliffe  who  had  gone  to  trade  with  him.  All 
through  that  winter  it  was  dangerous  to  be  alone  far  from  the  fort. 

Not  having  sufficient  stores  set  aside,  not  able  to  deal  with  the  natives, 
and  without  the  use  of  the  resources  of  the  countryside,  there  is  small 
wonder  that  conditions  became  serious,  even  desperate,  for  the  settlers. 
Those  few  men  fortified  on  Hampton  Roads  under  Capt.  James  Davis 
(after  Captain  West,  perhaps  under  threat  from  the  crew,  left  Virginia 
for  England  in  the  colony's  best  ship)  fared  far  better  than  did  those  at 
Jamestown.  Even  the  coming  of  spring  failed  to  restore  full  hope  and 
vitality  to  the  survivors,  yet  certainly  it  must  have  been  good  to  know 
that  winter  was  over. 

Virginia  almost  abandoned.  In  May  1610,  the  hearts  of  the  weary 
settlers  were  gladdened  when  Sir  Thomas  Gates,  their  new  governor, 
sailed  into  the  James.  For  about  a  year  he  and  the  survivors  of  the  wreck 
of  the  Sea  Venture  had  labored  in  Bermuda  to  make  possible  the  con- 
tinuation of  their  voyage  to  Virginia.  The  last  part  of  the  journey  was 
made  in  two  boats  built  by  them  in  Bermuda— the  Patience  and  the 
Deliverance,  names  suggestive  of  their  thankfulness  for  survival.  It  was 

403767  O-F-56 3  15 

not  a  pleasant  sight  that  greeted  them  at  Jamestown.  Ruin  and  desola- 
tion were  everywhere.  Gates,  with  his  Council,  on  July  7,  1610,  wrote 
that  Jamestown  seemed 

raither  as  the  ruins  of  some  auntient  [fortification,  then  that  any 
people  living  might  now  inhabit  it:  the  pallisadoes  he  found  tourne 
downe,  the  portes  open,  the  gates  from  the  hinges,  the  church  ruined 
and  unfrequented,  empty  howses  (whose  owners  untimely  death 
had  taken  newly  from  them)  rent  up  and  burnt,  the  living  not  hable, 
as  they  pretended,  to  step  into  the  woodes  to  gather  other  fire- wood; 
and,  it  is  true,  the  Indian  as  fast  killing  without  as  the  famine  and 
pestilence  within. 

Gates  promptly  distributed  provisions,  such  as  he  had,  and  introduced 
a  code  of  martial  law,  the  code  that  was  strengthened  later  by  Delaware 
and  made  famous  by  its  strict  enforcement  under  the  governorship  of 
Sir  Thomas  Dale.  After  surveying  the  condition  of  the  settlement  and 
realizing  that  the  supplies  he  had  brought  would  not  last  3  weeks,  Gates 
took  council  with  the  leaders.  They  decided  to  abandon  the  settlement. 
On  June  7,  1610,  the  settlers,  except  some  of  the  Poles  and  Dutchmen 
who  were  with  Powhatan,  boarded  the  ship,  left  Jamestown,  and  started 
down  the  James. 

The  next  morning,  while  still  in  the  river,  advance  word  reached  Gates 
that  Lord  Delaware  had  arrived  at  Point  Comfort  on  the  way  to  James- 
town and  was  bringing  150  settlers  and  a  generous  supply.  The  bad  news 
carried  to  England  by  the  returning  ships  of  the  third  supply,  late  in 
1609,  had  caused  considerable  stir  in  Virginia  Company  circles  and  had 
resulted  in  Delaware's  decision  to  go  to  Virginia.  Learning  of  the  new 
supply,  Gates  hastened  back  to  Jamestown.  The  new  settlement  had 
been  saved  in  a  manner  that  was  recognized  at  that  time  as  an  act  of 

lord  Delaware  reaches  Jamestown.  On  June  10,  Delaware  reached 
'James  Citty"  and  made  his  landing.  He  entered  the  fort  through  the 
south  gate,  and,  with  his  colors  flying,  went  on  to  the  church  where  Rev. 
Richard  Buck  delivered  an  impressive  sermon.  Then  his  ensign,  Anthony 
Scott,  read  his  commission,  and  Gates  formally  delivered  to  him  his  own 
authority  as  governor.  Delaware's  speech  to  the  assembled  colonists 
cheered  them,  advised  them,  warned  them,  and  reproached  them.  Thanks 
to  the  pen  of  William  Strachey,  we  have  a  good  account  of  these  events, 
including  the  best  description  of  the  fort,  church,  and  cabins  that  is  now 
known  to  have  been  preserved.  With  the  arrival  of  Delaware,  the  settle- 
ment was  given  new  life  and  new  hope.  Lean  times  lay  ahead,  yet  the 
most  difficult  years  lay  behind.  Virginia  now  had  a  government  that 
made  for  stability  under  the  governor,  and  the  old  settlers,  who,  a  little 
later,  came  to  be  called  "Ancient  Planters,"  had  learned  well  by 


Gates,  after  dealing  with  the  Indians,  left  for  England.  Delaware,  who 
continued  to  live  aboard  ship  for  a  time,  called  a  Council,  reorganized 
the  colonists,  and  directed  operations  to  promote  the  welfare  of  the 
colony,  including  the  construction  of  two  forts  near  Point  Comfort.  He 
fell  sick,  however,  and,  after  a  long  illness,  was  forced  to  leave  James- 
town and  Virginia  in  March  1611,  leaving  the  now  veteran  administrator, 
George  Percy,  as  governor  in  charge.  With  Delaware  went  Dr.  Lawrence 
Bohun,  who  had  experimented  extensively  with  the  curative  powers  of 
plants  and  herbs  at  Jamestown. 

SIR  thomas  dale  and  military  law.  In  May,  Sir  Thomas  Dale,  on 
military  leave  from  his  post  in  the  Low  Countries,  arrived  as  deputy  gov- 
ernor of  Virginia.  He  proceeded  to  give  form  and  substance  to  the  martial 
law  which  had  been  evoked  by  his  predecessors.  It  led  to  rather  complete 
regimentation,  and  he  was  severely  criticized  for  it  later,  particularly  by 
those  hostile  to  his  administration.  He  began  by  posting  proclamations 
"for  the  publique  view"  at  Jamestown.  Later,  he  thoroughly  inspected 
suitable  settlement  sites  and  surveyed  conditions  generally.  He  wrote, 
on  May  25,  1611,  that  on  arrival  at  Jamestown  he  found  ".  .  .  no  corn 
sett,  some  few  seeds  put  into  a  private  garden  or  Two;  but  the  cattle, 
cows,  goats,  swine,  Poultry  &c  to  be  well  and  carefully  on  all  hands  pre- 
served and  all  in  good  plight  and  likeing."  To  get  things  in  order  at  the 
seat  of  government,  one  party  was  designated  to  repair  the  church,  an- 
other to  work  on  the  stable,  another  to  build  a  wharf.  When  things 
were  reasonably  well  in  hand  at  Jamestown,  he  made  plans  to  push  the 
decision  to  open  a  new  settlement  above  Jamestown  which  would  be- 
come the  real  center  of  the  colony.  The  reasons  for  such  a  removal  of 
the  seat  of  government  are  well  known— not  sufficient  high  land,  poor 
drinking  water,  too  much  marsh,  and  a  location  not  far  enough  upstream 
to  be  out  of  reach  of  the  Spanish. 

jamestown,  1611-16.  Under  Dale,  from  May  1611  to  1616,  and  under 
Gates  who  replaced  him  for  several  years,  beginning  in  August  1611, 
the  emphasis  was  away  from  Jamestown,  but  the  capital  was  not  actually 

In  1612,  "Master  George  Percie  .  .  .  [was  busy]  with  the  keeping  of 
Jamestown"  while  much  of  the  colony  had  been  "moved  up  river." 
The  first  settlement  was  then  looked  upon  as  chiefly  a  place  of  safety 
for  hogs  and  cattle.  In  1614,  it  was  made  up  of  "two  faire  rowes  of 
howses,  all  of  framed  Timber,  two  stories,  and  an  vpper  Garret  or  Corne 
loft  high,  besides  three  large,  and  substantiall  Storehowses  ioyned  to- 
geather  in  length  some  hundred  and  twenty  foot,  and  in  breadth  forty  .  .  . 
this  town  hath  been  lately  newly,  and  strongly  impaled,  and  a  faire  plat- 
forme  for  Ordnance  in  the  west  Bulworke  raised."  Without  the  town 
".  .  .  in  the  Island  [were]  some  very  pleasant,  and  beutifull  howses, 
two  Blockhouses  .  .  .  and  certain  other  farme  howses."  In  1616,  it  was 
a  post  of  50  under  the  command  of  Lt.  John  Sharpe,  who  was  acting  in 


the  absence  of  Capt.  Francis  West.  Thirty-one  of  these  were  "farmors" 
and  all  maintained  themselves  with  "food  and  rayment." 

The  Gates- Dale  5-year  administration  (1611-16)  actually  saw  Virginia 
established  as  a  going  concern.  The  role  of  Dale  in  all  of  this  seems  to 
have  been  a  heavy  one.  Martial  law  brought  order  and  uniformity  in 
operations  and  compelled  the  people  to  go  to  work.  Dale  saw  to  it  that 
corn  was  planted  and  harvested  and  that  the  laws  were  observed.  He 
made  peace  with  the  Indians. 

So  effective  were  Dale's  measures  that  one  of  his  contemporaries, 
John  Rolfe,  wrote  "whereupon  a  peace  was  concluded,  which  still  con- 
tinues so  firme,  that  our  people  yearlely  plant  and  reape  quietly,  and 
travell  in  the  woods  a  fowling  and  a  hunting  as  freely  and  securely  from 
danger  or  treacherie  as  in  England.  The  great  blessings  of  God  have  fol- 
lowed this  peace,  and  it,  next  under  him,  hath  bredd  our  plentie  .  .  .". 
All  this  was  accomplished  when  the  fortunes  of  the  Virginia  Company 
were  at  a  low  point  and  little  support  was  being  sent  to  the  colony.  John 
Rolfe  then  went  on  to  predict  that  Dale's  "worth  and  name  .  .  .  will 
out  last  the  standing  of  this  plantation  .  .  .". 

Martial  law,  strictly  administered  at  first,  was  gradually  relaxed  in  ap- 
plication as  conditions  stabilized,  and  within  a  few  years  Dale  took  the 
step  of  granting  3-acre  plots  to  private  men  for  their  enjoyment  outside 
of  the  common  store.  This  was  a  big  step  in  the  evolution  of  the  private 
ownership  of  land.  In  the  beginning,  ownership  was  communal  and 
company  controlled.  In  1609,  a  future  division  of  both  land  and  profits 
was  anticipated,  but  it  was  about  1619  before  individual  grants  were 
made.  A  part  of  this  evolution  was  the  headright  system  of  acquisition, 
whereby  persons  were  rewarded  for  venturing  to  Virginia  themselves,  or 
their  capital.  Dale's  grants  of  a  semiprivate  nature,  about  1615,  were  a 
step  in  this  evolution  as  well.  The  headright  system  which  developed  at 
Jamestown  and  on  the  banks  of  the  James  was  later  adapted  in  other 
colonies  and  continued  in  use  for  generations. 

Gates  and  Dale  in  their  administration  had  the  help  of  other  enter- 
prising and  daring  early  Virginians.  There  was  Capt.  Samuel  Argall 
whose  later  work  as  governor  of  the  colony  has  sometimes  been  criti- 
cized, especially  his  handling  of  the  company  finances.  This  should  not 
becloud  his  earlier  helpfulness  in  getting  Virginia  established.  He 
pioneered  in  making  a  direct  crossing  of  the  Atlantic  to  save  time  and  to 
avoid  the  Spanish,  who  now  were  fearful  that  the  Virginia  enterprise 
might  succeed  and  were  sending  spies  to  Virginia.  (Some  of  these  spies 
were  captured  and  interned  at  Jamestown.)  Argall  led  in  exploration, 
both  in  Virginia  waters  and  northward  along  the  coastline.  He  was  adept 
at  shipbuilding  and  in  the  Indian  trade.  It  was  evidently  he  who  dis- 
covered the  best  fishing  seasons  and  the  fact  that  the  fish  made  "runs"  in 
the  bay  and  in  the  rivers.  He  made  an  open  attack  on  the  French  settle- 
ments to  the  north  in  New  England  and  Nova  Scotia,  returning  to 
Jamestown  with  his  captives. 


Pocahontas.  While  on  a  trading  expedition  on  the  Potomac,  Argall 
captured  Pocahontas  and  brought  her  as  a  prisoner  to  Jamestown  in  an 
attempt  to  deal  with  her  father,  Powhatan.  Pocahontas  was  no  stranger 
at  Jamestown.  She  had  often  visited  there  before,  once  in  the  spring  of 
1608  to  seek  some  of  her  countrymen  held  as  hostages  in  the  fort 

In  1613,  Pocahontas  was  well  received  at  Jamestown,  where  she  had 
not  been  for  some  time;  and  when  her  father  refused  to  pay  the  price 
asked  for  her  ransom,  she  was  detained.  Later,  she  preferred  life  with 
the  English  and  did  not  wish  to  return  to  her  native  village.  She  was 
placed  under  the  tutelage  of  Rev.  Alexander  Whitaker  who  instructed 
her  in  the  Christian  faith.  Eventually  Pocahontas  was  baptized.  In  April 
1614,  in  the  church  at  Jamestown,  she  married  John  Rolfe,  one  of  the 
settlers.  This  was  a  celebrated  marriage  that  did  much  to  improve  rela- 
tions with  the  Indians.  About  1616,  the  couple  went  to  England  where 
Pocahontas  was  entertained  at  court.  She  died  there  as  she  was  about  to 
return  to  Virginia,  in  1617,  and  her  body  rests  at  Gravesend.  She  had  one 
son,  Thomas  Rolfe,  who  later  came  to  Virginia.  Through  him  many 
today  can  trace  their  ancestry  to  Pocahontas. 

tobacco.  After  the  death  of  Pocahontas,  John  Rolfe  came  back  to  Vir- 
ginia alone  to  resume  the  work  which  he  had  begun  there  as  early  as 
1610.  Perhaps  he  continued  his  work  with  tobacco  which  had  already 
resulted  in  a  plant  that  could  compete  in  taste  and  quality  with  that 
which  had  given  the  Spanish  a  monopoly  of  the  tobacco  market. 

In  the  first  years  of  the  settlement  every  effort  had  been  made  to  find 
products  in  the  New  World  that  would  assure  financial  success  for  the 
settlers  and  the  company.  Pitch,  tar,  timber,  sassafras,  cedar,  and  other 
natural  products  were  sent  in  the  returning  ships.  Attempts  to  produce 
glass  on  a  paying  scale  proved  futile,  as  did  early  efforts  to  make  silk, 
using  the  native  mulberry  trees  growing  in  abundance.  The  glass  fur- 

Monument  to  Pocahontas,  by  William  Ordway  Partridge,  near  the 
entrance  to  Jamestown  National  Historic  Site. 

naces  fell  into  disuse,  and  rats  ate  the  silkworms.  The  native  tobacco 
plant,  found  growing  wild  was  "...  not  of  the  best  kind  .  .  .  [but  was] 
poore  and  weake,  and  of  a  byting  tast  .  .  ."  and  held  little  promise. 

About  1610-11,  the  seed  of  a  different  species  of  the  plant  was  im- 
ported from  Trinidad,  then  famous  for  the  quality  of  its  tobacco.  Later 
some  came  from  Venezuela.  These  were  planted  and  a  process  of  selec- 
tion and  crossbreeding  began  which  resulted  in  the  commercially  valuable 
Virginia  leaf.  John  Rolfe,  a  smoker  himself,  has  been  credited  as  the 
pioneer  English  colonist  in  this  experimentation. 

In  addition  to  the  improvement  of  the  plant,  Rolfe  was  one  of  the 
first  regularly  to  grow  tobacco  for  export  and  as  such  was  the  father  of 
the  Virginia  tobacco  trade  and  industry.  The  first  experimental  ship- 
ment of  the  newly  developed  Virginia  leaf  came  about  1613,  and  because 
of  its  pleasant  taste  it  was  well  received  in  some  quarters.  Production 
was  slow  for  several  years.  Dale  restricted  its  cultivation  until  basic  com- 
modities, such  as  corn,  were  well  advanced.  In  the  1615-16  period  only 
2,300  pounds  reached  London  from  Virginia.  Capt.  George  Yeardley, 
the  next  to  govern,  gave  the  new  crop  his  whole-hearted  support,  with 
the  result  that  in  1617  exports  reached  the  20,000  pound  total,  and  by 
1619  this  had  been  more  than  doubled.  Thus,  a  new  trade  and  industry 
were  born  in  the  colony,  which  proved  to  be  the  economic  salvation 
of  Virginia,  and  provided  a  means  for  making  slavery  profitable.  To- 
bacco and  slavery  together  led  to  the  development  of  important  char- 
acteristics of  the  whole  social,  political,  and  economic  structure  of  the 
Old  South.  One  of  the  immediate  effects  of  tobacco  culture  in  Virginia 
was  the  impetus  it  gave  to  the  expansion  of  the  area  of  settlement  and 
to  the  number  of  settlers  coming  to  Virginia. 

the  spread  of  settlement.  Jamestown  was  planned  as  the  first  perma- 
nent English  settlement  in  Virginia.  The  fixed  intention  was  to  establish 
other  seats  as  soon  as  possible.  As  the  limitations  of  Jamestown  became 
obvious,  the  desire  for  other  townsites  was  intensified.  Soon  after  the 
settlement  was  made  at  Jamestown,  temporary  garrisons  were  placed  at 
outlying  points  for  protective  and  administrative  reasons— at  Kecough- 

Tobacco  cultivation  as  practiced  at  Jamestown.   (A  conjectural  paint- 
ing by  Sidney  E.  King.) 



&f£'    V* 




tan  (Hampton- Newport  News),  Cape  Henry,  and  at  the  falls  of  the 
James.  The  first  efforts  in  this  direction,  except  at  Kecoughtan,  ended 
in  the  autumn  of  1609  under  pressure  from  the  Indians.  With  the  arrival 
of  Delaware,  Kecoughtan  (renamed  Elizabeth  City  in  1619)  was  estab- 
lished as  a  permanent  settlement.  Dale  and  Gates  went  on  to  establish 
the  city  of  Henricus  (Henrico)  well  up  the  James  near  the  falls.  Then 
came  Charles  City  (the  earlier  Bermuda  Nether  Hundred)  which  de- 
veloped into  the  last  of  the  four  settlements  established  by  the  company, 
each  of  which  had  the  designation  "city."  These  four  settlements  were 
the  only  towns  specifically  set  up  by  the  company  and  consequently 
under  its  complete  control.  These  later  came  to  be  mentioned  in  the 
records  as  the  "Four  Ancient  Boroughs"  or  "four  ancient  Incorporations." 
As  one  of  these,  Jamestown  became  the  center  of  the  political  subdivision 
that  developed  into  one  of  the  original  Virginia  shires  in  1634.  Within 
the  next  decade  the  term  county  replaced  that  of  shire,  and  today,  al- 
though Jamestown  has  ceased  to  exist  as  a  corporate  organization,  James 
City  County  continues  to  function  as  the  oldest  governing  unit  in 
English  America. 

Although  the  four  "cities"  constituted  the  first  settlements  in  Vir- 
ginia and  were  the  only  ones  established  directly  under  company  con- 
trol, they  were  but  the  beginning.  About  1616,  a  new  plan  gave  rise  to 
the  creation  of  settlements  known  as  "particular  plantations,"  some- 
times called  "hundreds"  as  a  result  of  the  practice  of  awarding  land  on 
the  basis  of  100  acres  or  of  sending  settlers  in  groups  of  the  same  num- 
ber. These  were  established  with  company  permission,  which  included 
a  grant  of  land  made  to  individual  groups  of  stockholders  organized  for 
the  purpose  of  setting  up  a  specific  settlement.  The  first  of  these  was 
Martin's  Hundred,  in  1617,  and  others  followed  rapidly.  By  the  summer 
of  1619,  there  were  seven  particular  plantations  already  functioning,  in 
adcfttion  to  the  original  "cities,"  a  term  sometimes  thought  to  derive 
from  the  form  of  government  being  used  by  the  "City  of  Geneva"  in 
Switzerland  which  was  held  in  high  esteem  by  some  of  the  company 
officials,  particularly  by  Sir  Edwin  Sandys  who  became  Treasurer  of  the 
Virginia  Company  in  1618. 

With  the  spread  of  settlement  east  and  west  along  the  James  and  out- 
ward along  its  rivers  and  creeks  as  well,  Jamestown  lay  approximately 
in  the  center  of  an  expanding  and  growing  colony.  It  was  the  capital 
town  and  the  principal  center  of  the  colony's  social  and  political  life. 
In  size  it  remained  small,  yet  it  was  intimately  and  directly  related  to 
all  of  the  significant  developments  of  the  17th  century.  Its  physical 
aspects  changed  with  the  evolution  of  17th  century  architectural  patterns 
and  designs.  Life  in  the  town  was  varied  and  perhaps  representative  of 
the  best  in  the  colony  for  almost  a  century.  As  wealth  accumulated,  the 
manner  of  living  broadened  and  improved.  There  is  strong  evidence  that 
Jamestown  was  the  first  to  feel  the  impact  of  the  advantages  and  efforts 
that  this  produced,  particularly  in  the  first  half  century  of  its  existence. 


Material  progress  is  evident  as  early  as  1619  in  the  letter  of  John  Pory, 
secretary  of  the  colony,  written  from  Virginia  late  in  that  year: 

Nowe  that  your  lordship  may  knowe,  that  we  are  not  the  variest 
beggars  in  the  worlde,  our  co  we  keeper  here  of  James  citty  on  Sun- 
day goes  accowtered  all  in  freshe  flaming  silke;  and  a  wife  of  one 
that  in  England  had  professed  the  black  arte,  not  of  a  schollar,  but 
of  a  collier  of  Croydon,  weares  her  rough  bever  hatt  with  a  faire 
perle  hatband,  and  a  silken  suite  thereto  correspondent. 


internal  changes  in  the  Virginia  Company  that  led  to  the  resignation  of 
Sir  Thomas  Smith  as  treasurer,  and  to  the  election  of  Sir  Edwin  Sandys 
as  his  successor.  This  roughly  corresponded  to  changes  in  company 
policy  toward  the  administration  of  the  colony  and  to  intensified  efforts 
to  develop  Virginia.  It  led  to  the  abolition  of  martial  law,  to  the  estab- 
lishment of  individual  property  ownership,  and  greater  freedom  and 
participation  in  matters  of  government.  Virginia  already  enjoyed  a  high 
degree  of  religious  freedom  due,  perhaps,  to  the  fact  that  a  number  of 
company  officers  were  strongly  under  the  influence  of  the  puritan  ele- 
ment within  the  Church  of  England.  This,  together  with  the  fact  that 
Virginia  was  not  settled  purely  for  religious  reasons,  caused  less  stress 
to  be  put  on  absolute  uniformity  in  church  matters.  Sir  George  Yeardley, 
recently  knighted,  returned  to  Virginia  as  governor  in  April  1619,  and 
was  the  first  spokesman  in  the  colony  for  the  new  policy  toward  Vir- 
ginia. In  England  it  had  been  ably  advanced  on  behalf  of  the  colony  by 
Sir  Edwin  Sandys,  the  Earl  of  Southampton,  and  John  and  Nicholas 

Soon  after  his  arrival,  Yeardley  issued  a  call  for  a  representative  legis- 
lative assembly  which  convened  at  Jamestown  on  July  30,  1619,  and 
remained  in  session  until  August  4.  This  was  the  earliest  example  ofour 
present  system  of  representative  government  in  America.  The  full  inten- 
tions behind  the  moves  that  led  to  this  historic  meeting  may  never  be 
known.  It  seems  to  have  been  an  attempt  to  give  to  the  Englishmen  in 
America  those  rights  and  privileges  of  Englishmen  that  had  been 
guaranteed  to  them  in  the  original  company  charter,  rather  than  a 
planned  attempt  to  establish  self-government  in  the  New  World  on  a 
scale  that  might  have  been  in  violation  of  English  law  and  custom  at  the 
time.  Whatever  the  motive,  the  significance  of  this  meeting  in  the  church 
at  Jamestown  remains  the  same.  This  body  of  duly  chosen  representa- 
tives of  the  people  has  continued  in  existence  and  its  evolution  leads 
directly  to  our  State  legislatures  and  to  the  Congress  of  the  United 

developments,  1619-24.  Another  significant  development  of  1619  was 
the  sending  by  the  company  of  maidens  to  Virginia  to  be  wives  of  the 
settlers.  Although  many  women  were  already  established  with  their 


families  in  the  Jamestown  colony,  the  company  recognized  that  homes 
and  children  for  all  the  men  would  be  conducive  to  established  family 
life  and  permanent  residence.  Under  this  new  project,  the  first  maidens 
arrived  in  May  and  June  1620.  Others  followed,  as  ships  brought  more 
and  more  young  women  seeking  their  fortunes  in  Virginia. 

The  third  momentous  event  in  1619  was  the  arrival  of  Negroes  in  a 
Dutch  warship.  They  remained  in  Virginia,  some  finding  homes,  and 
some  as  indentured  servants  even  as  some  white  men  were  at  that  time. 
Nevertheless,  this  first  arrival  of  Negroes  was  to  lead  to  the  introduc- 
tion of  slavery  into  the  colony.  It  was  more  than  a  generation  before 
the  institution  of  slavery  began  to  be  entrenched  as  the  backbone  of 
the  economic  life  in  Virginia,  yet  this  event  of  1619  was  the  first  move 
in  that  direction. 

Under  Dale,  the  emphasis  on  colonization  was  away  from  Jamestown, 
yet  later  governors  found  the  original  seat  desirable.  Capt.  Samuel  Argall, 
who  succeeded  Yeardley  as  deputy  governor  in  1617,  wrote  that  he  ad- 
vanced physical  improvements  prior  to  his  hasty  withdrawal  from 
Virginia  in  the  spring  of  1619  to  avoid  arrest  under  charges  of  mis- 
management of  company  affairs.  Argall  had  been  the  first  to  prescribe 
limits  for  Jamestown.  Yeardley  followed  him  as  governor,  and  for  the 
next  few  years  Jamestown,  at  this  time  most  often  called  "James  City," 
witnessed  considerable  growth  and  activity.  The  town,  long  before,  had 
expanded  outside  of  the  fort  and  spread  along  the  shore  on  the  extreme 

A  typical  view  of  the  landscape  on  Jamestown  Island.  The  high  ground 
is  principally  along  low  ridges,  sometimes  called  "fingers,"  divided  by 
marshes  or  very  low  ground. 


west  end  of  the  island.  The  borough  or  incorporation,  of  which  it  was 
the  center,  extended  west  to  the  Chickahominy  River  and  downriver 
beyond  Hog  Island.  Its  territory  was  along  the  north  side  of  the  river  and 
included  the  south  side  as  well — the  area  that  later  became  Surry  County. 
West  toward  the  Chickahominy  the  area  adjacent  to  Jamestown  Island 
became  rather  heavily  developed  and  was  referred  to  as  the  "Suburbs  of 
James  City." 

The  period  from  1619  to  1624  was  one  of  considerable  activity  for 
Virginia  in  general  and  Jamestown  in  particular.  The  reorganized  Vir- 
ginia Company,  following  its  political  changes,  renewed  its  efforts  to 
expand  the  colony  and  to  stimulate  profitable  employment.  Heavy 
emphasis  was  placed  on  new  industries,  particularly  iron  and  glass,  the 
latter  evidently  attempted  a  second  time  on  Glasshouse  Point.  The 
planting  of  mulberry  trees  and  the  growing  of  silkworms  were  advanced 
by  the  dispatch  of  treatises  on  silk  culture  and  silkworm  eggs  in  a 
project  in  which  King  James  I  himself  had  a  personal  interest.  Immigra- 
tion to  the  colony  was  increased,  and  measures  were  taken  to  meet  the 
religious  and  educational  needs  of  the  settlers.  This  was  the  period  that 
saw  the  attempt  to  establish  a  college  at  Henrico. 

The  industrial  and  manufacturing  efforts  of  these  years,  however,  were 
not  destined  to  succeed.  This  condition  was  not  due  to  any  laxity  on  the 
part  of  George  Sandys,  resident  treasurer  in  Virginia,  who  was  some- 
thing of  an  economic  on-the-spot  supervisor  for  the  company.  Virginia 
could  not  yet  support  these  projects  profitably,  and  interest  was  lacking 
on  the  part  of  the  planters  who  found  in  tobacco  a  source  of  wealth 
superior  to  anything  else  that  had  been  tried.  Tobacco  was  profitable, 
and  it  was  grown,  at  times,  even  in  the  streets  of  Jamestown.  It  was  the 
profit  from  tobacco  that  supported  the  improved  living  conditions  that 
came  throughout  the  colony. 

These  Englishmen  who  came  to  settle  in  the  wilderness  retained  their 
desire  for  the  advantages  of  life  in  England.  Books,  for  example,  were 
highly  valued,  and  with  the  passage  of  the  years  were  no  uncommon 
commodity  in  Virginia.  As  early  as  1608,  Rev.  Robert  Hunt  had  a 
library  at  Jamestown,  which  was  consumed  by  fire  in  January  of  that 
year.  Each  new  group  of  colonists  seemingly  added  to  the  store  on 
hand— Bibles,  Books  of  Common  Prayer,  other  religious  works,  medical 
and  scientific  treatises,  legal  publications,  accounts  of  gardening,  and 
such.  In  1621,  the  company  wrote  to  the  colonial  officials  regarding 
works  for  a  new  minister  being  sent  to  the  colony  that:  "As  for  bookes 
we  doubt  not  but  you  wilbe  able  to  supplie  him  out  of  the  lybraries  of 
so  many  that  have  died."  By  this  date  there  was  local  literary  effort,  too, 
such  as  that  by  Treasurer  George  Sandys  who  continued  his  celebrated 
translation  of  Ovid's  Metamorphoses  in  the  house  of  William  Pierce  at 
Jamestown.  Then,  too,  in  March  1623,  a  gentleman  of  the  colony  sent 
from  "lames  his  Towne"  the  ballad  "Good  Newes  from  Virginia"  in 
which,  among  other  things,  he  describes  the  arrival  of  the  governor's 


wife  at  Jamestown  and  uses  this  to  prod  others  to  support  the  colony 
and  to  settle  in  Virginia. 

But  last  of  all  that  Lady  f aire, 
that  woman  worth  renoune: 
That  left  her  Country  and  her  friends, 
to  grace  braue  lames  his  towne. 

The  wife  unto  our  Gouernour, 

did  safely  here  ariue: 

With  many  gallants  following  her, 

whom  Godpreserue  aliue. 

What  man  would  stay  when  Ladies  gay, 

both  Hues  and  fortunes  leaues: 

To  taste  what  we  haue  truely  sowne, 

truth  never  man  deceaues. 

(From  The  William  and  Mary  Quarterly, 

3rd  Ser.,  V,  357-8) 

"new  towne."  It  is  in  the  1619  to  1624  period  that  the  first  clear  picture 
of  Jamestown  emerges,  for  this  period  corresponds  with  the  earliest 
known  property  records  that  exist.  The  town  had  outgrown  the  original 
fort  in  some  years  past  and  now  appeared  as  a  fairly  nourishing  settle- 
ment. The  records  reveal  that  many  of  the  property  owners  were  yeomen, 
merchants,  carpenters,  hog-raisers,  farmers,  joiners,  shopkeepers,  and 
ordinary  "fellows,"  as  well  as  governors  and  colonial  officials.  The  "New 
Towne"  section  of  James  City  developed  in  this  period  as  the  old  section 
proved  too  small  and  the  residents  began  to  build  more  substantial 
houses,  principally  frame  on  brick  foundations.  The  Indian  massacre  of 
1622,  that  wrought  such  heavy  devastation  in  the  colony,  did  not 
reach  Jamestown  which  was  warned  through  the  efforts  of  the  Indian, 
Chanco.  It  did  temporarily  cause  congestion  in  the  Jamestown  area, 
however,  as  the  survivors  from  the  more  distant  settlements  fell  back 
for  safety  and  to  regroup.  The  punitive  Indian  campaigns  that  followed 
were  directed  from  Jamestown  by  the  governor,  who  resided  there. 

The  population  figures  taken  in  these  years  give  a  good  idea  of  the 
size  of  Jamestown  in  this  period.  In  February  1624,  it  is  recorded  that 
183  persons  were  living  in  Jamestown  and  35  others  on  the  island  out- 
side of  the  town.  These  are  listed  by  name,  as  are  the  87  who  died  be- 
tween April  1623  and  the  following  February.  The  death  toll  suggests 
that  the  mortality  rate  was  continuing  high  and  that  it  was  still  difficult 
for  newcomers  to  adapt  themselves  to  the  Virginia  environment.  In  the 


"census"  of  January  1625,  a  total  of  124  residents  are  listed  for  "James 
Citty"  and  an  additional  51  for  the  island.  In  the  over-all  total  of  175, 
122  were  males  and  53,  females.  At  that  time,  Governor  Sir  Francis 
Wyatt  and  former  Governor  Yeardley  had  two  of  the  largest  musters 
for  the  town,  which  included  women,  children,  indentured  servants,  and 
Negroes.  Nine  Negroes  were  listed  for  Jamestown  and  the  island, 
evidently  some  of  those  brought  there  in  1619. 

Aside  from  the  population  statistics,  the  musters  of  January  1625  give 
much  more  information.  Jamestown  had  a  church,  a  court-of-guard 
(guardhouse),  3  stores,  a  merchant's  store,  and  33  houses.  Ten  of  the 
colony's  40  boats  were  here,  including  a  skiff,  a  "shallop"  of  4  tons,  and 
a  "barque"  of  40  tons.  There  were  stores  offish  (24,880  pounds  to  be 
exact),  corn,  peas,  and  meal.  There  were  four  pieces  of  ordnance,  sup- 
plies of  powder,  shot  and  lead,  and,  for  individual  use,  "fixt  peeces," 
snaphances,  pistols,  swords  (to  the  number  of  70),  coats  of  mail,  quilted 
coats,  and  suits  of  armor  (35  of  them  complete).  The  bulk  of  the 
colony's  livestock  seems  to  have  been  localized  in  the  Jamestown  area— 
about  half  (183)  of  the  cattle,  a  little  more  than  half  (265)  of  the  hogs, 
and  well  over  half  (126)  of  the  goats.  The  one  horse  listed  for  the 
colony  was  at  Jamestown. 

The  "census"  clearly  indicates  that  the  population  of  Jamestown  was 
not  keeping  pace  with  that  of  the  colony.  The  needs  of  tobacco  culture- 
open  fields  and  new  soil— and  the  abundance  of  navigable  waters  in  the 
rivers,  bays,  and  creeks  of  tidewater  Virginia  led  to  a  scattered  popula- 
tion, based  on  the  plantation  system.  These  factors  prevented  the  rise  of 
trade  centers  and  large  towns  for  almost  a  century,  despite  the  best  efforts 
of  both  home  and  colonial  officials.  The  idea  was  to  make  Jamestown 
the  center  of  social,  political,  and  economic  life  and  to  develop  it  into 
a  city  of  some  proportions.  In  size,  it  never  attained  that  of  a  city  and  it 
failed  to  dominate  trade  and  commerce.  It  was,  however,  the  hub  of 
political  and  social  life  for  as  long  as  it  was  the  capital  of  Virginia— 92 
years.  Hence,  its  story  is  vital  to  an  understanding  of  American  begin- 
nings. Its  citizens,  in  their  daily  life  and  work,  developed  the  origins  of 
many  of  our  institutions,  styles,  and  customs  in  speech,  in  architecture, 
in  dress,  and  in  government  organization. 

Virginia  made  A  royal  colony.  The  Virginia  Company  established 
the  first  permanent  English  settlement  in  America,  but  did  not  reap  the 
profits  that  it  had  expected.  Despite  reorganization  and  large  expendi- 
tures, it  never  achieved  its  full  objective  and  was  increasingly  subject  to 
criticism.  Matters  reached  a  head  in  1624  when  James  I  dissolved  the 
company,  thereby  removing  the  hand  that  had  guided  Virginia  affairs 
for  17  years.  With  this  act  Virginia  became  a  royal  colony  and  continued 
as  such  until  the  American  Revolution  made  it  free  and  independent. 
From  the  point  of  view  of  operations  in  the  colony  the  change  was 


The  remains  of  a  brick  and  tile  kiln  (c.  1650 )  found  at  Jamestown. 
This  is  the  best  preserved  and  most  complete  of  several  kilns  that  have 
been  uncovered,  showing  that  the  Jamestown  residents  manufactured 
many  of  their  bricks  and  roofing  tiles. 

almost  painless  although  there  was  concern  over  land  titles  and  a  con- 
tinuance of  the  assembly  which  had  already  voiced  its  feeling  on  taxa- 
tion without  representation.  The  company  governor  gave  way  to  the 
royal  appointee,  but  most  institutions  were  left  intact. 

Sir  Francis  Wyatt  was  the  last  company  governor,  and  he  continued 
in  office  for  a  while  as  royal  governor.  When  he  left  for  England,  in 
1626,  Yeardley  again  became  governor  and  served  until  he  died  at  James- 
town the  next  year.  Capt.  Francis  West  was  named  to  the  post  as  deputy. 
Another  deputy,  Dr.  John  Pott,  followed  next  in  turn,  and  he  was 
replaced  by  the  royal  appointee,  Sir  John  Harvey. 

governor  harvey  DEPOSED.  Sir  John  Harvey  first  came  to  Virginia  in 
1624  as  a  member  of  a  committee  to  report  on  conditions  in  the  colony. 
It  was  in  1630  that  he  returned  as  royal  governor  and  settled  himself  at 
'James  cittie,  the  seate  of  the  Governor."  In  1632,  he  had  a  commodious 
house  here  and  was  complaining  of  the  expense  of  the  entertainment  that 
he  had  to  finance  in  "the  Governors  owne  house."  Whether  because  of 
his  personal  nature,  his  own  view  or  interpretation  of  government,  or 
because  of  the  severe  opposition  that  confronted  him,  he  managed  to 
become  thoroughly  disliked  throughout  the  colony.  His  high-handed 
and  autocratic  methods  arrayed  even  his  council  against  him. 

403767  O-F-56 4 


In  the  end,  his  council,  in  meetings  at  Jamestown,  moved  to  depose 
him,  naming  another  to  act  in  his  stead— a  bold  measure,  indeed.  The 
assembly,  in  May  1635,  approved  this  action,  and  Harvey  was  returned 
to  England  to  answer  the  charges  placed  against  him  there.  The  King, 
it  is  true,  returned  Harvey  to  his  post  as  royal  governor  in  1637,  but  un- 
doubtedly both  he  and  Harvey  were  impressed  by  the  action  that  the 
colonists  had  taken  to  redress  their  grievances— they  had  deposed  a 
royal  governor. 

brick  architecture.  When  Governor  Harvey  reached  Jamestown  in 
January  1637  he  made  a  special  effort  to  promote  the  growth  of  the 
town.  The  assembly  passed  an  act  offering  a  "portion  of  land  for  a  house 
and  garden"  to  every  person  who  would  undertake  to  build  on  it  within 
2  years.  This  was  the  beginning  of  considerable  activity  at  Jamestown. 
A  number  of  new  patents  were  issued,  and,  in  January  1639,  the  gov- 
ernor and  his  council  could  report  that  12  houses  and  stores  had  been 
constructed  and  others  had  been  begun.  One  of  those  already  built  was 
the  house  of  Richard  Kemp,  secretary  of  the  colony.  His  house  was 
described  as  "one  of  brick"  and  "the  fairest  ever  known  in  this  coun- 
try for  substance  and  uniformity."  Kemp's  house  is  the  earliest  all-brick 
house  in  Virginia  that  it  has  been  possible  to  date  conclusively  up  to 
the  present  time.  It  was  in  1639,  too,  that  the  first  brick  church  was  be- 
gun, and  a  levy  was  collected  for  the  acquisition  of  a  statehouse.  Among 
the  new  land  holders  at  Jamestown  in  this  period  of  activity  were  Capt. 
Thomas  Hill,  Rev.  Thomas  Hampton,  and  Alexander  Stoner,  a  "brick- 
maker."  As  the  area  along  the  river  was  occupied,  additional  patentees 
obtained  holdings  just  outside  of  the  town  proper  and  others  settled  in 
the  few  lots  that  were  not  in  use.  Sir  William  Berkeley,  who  became 
governor  in  164 1,  continued  the  emphasis  on  the  construction  of  sub- 
stantial houses.  In  that  same  year,  the  colony  acquired  its  first  State- 
house,  formerly  the  property  of  Harvey  and  a  building  in  which  public 
business  had  been  transacted  for,  perhaps,  as  much  as  10  years. 

In  March  1646,  measures  were  taken  to  discourage  the  sale  of  liquors 
on  the  island,  and  a  system  of  licensed  ordinary  keepers  was  adopted. 
Later  in  the  year,  houses  for  the  encouragement  of  linen  manufacture 
were  projected  for  Jamestown.  In  1649,  the  General  Assembly  estab- 
lished a  market  and  near  the  market  area  was  the  landing  for  the  ferry 
that  ran  across  the  James  to  Surry  County.  Even  this  new  action,  how- 
ever, failed  to  develop  a  town  of  any  great  extent.  The  same  was  true 
of  the  Act  of  1662  which  attempted  to  encourage  a  substantial  building 
program  for  the  capital  town.  Only  a  few  houses  were  erected  before  the 
new  impetus  had  spent  itself,  and,  in  1676,  it  is  known  that  the  town  was 
still  little  more  than  a  large  village.  One  of  the  more  detailed  descrip- 
tions at  this  time  relates  that  "The  Towne  .  .  .  [extended]  east  and  west, 
about  3  quarters  of  a  mile  .  .  .  [and]  comprehended  som[e]  16  or  18 


houses,  most  as  is  the  church  built  of  brick,  faire  and  large;  and  in  them 
about  a  dozen  families  (for  all  the  howses  are  not  inhabited)  getting 
their  liveings  by  keeping  of  ordnaries,  at  extreordnary  rates." 

the  commonwealth  period.  The  decade  of  1650-60  corresponds 
to  the  period  of  the  Commonwealth  Government  in  England.  Vir- 
ginia, for  the  most  part,  appeared  loyal  to  the  crown,  yet  in  1652  the 
colony  submitted  to  the  new  government  when  it  demonstrated  its 
power  before  Jamestown.  Governor  Berkeley  withdrew  to  his  home  at 
Green  Spring,  just  above  Jamestown,  and  the  General  Assembly  assumed 
the  governing  role,  acting  under  the  Parliament  of  England.  Virginia 
was  given  liberal  treatment,  with  considerable  freedom  in  taxation  and 
matters  of  government.  The  governors  in  this  interval,  elected  by  the 
assembly,  were  Richard  Bennett,  Edward  Digges  (an  active  supporter 
of  the  production  of  silk  in  Virginia),  and  Samuel  Mathews.  In  1660, 
on  the  death  of  Mathews,  the  assembly  recalled  Berkeley  to  the  gov- 
ernor's office,  an  act  that  was  approved  by  Charles  II,  who  was  restored 
to  the  English  throne  in  that  year.  The  decade  passed  quietly  for  the 
colony,  although,  in  the  years  that  followed,  it  had  occasion  to  remember 
the  liberal  control  that  it  had  enjoyed.  It  had  witnessed  an  increased 
wave  of  immigration  that  brought  some  of  those  who  were  fleeing  from 
England,  and  this  more  than  offset  the  loss  of  the  Puritans  whom  Berke- 
ley had  forced  out  of  the  colony  prior  to  1650. 

In  matters  of  religion,  Virginia  continued  loyal  to  the  Church  of  Eng- 
land, although  there  was  considerable  freedom  for  the  individual.  The 
Puritans  found  it  uncomfortable  to  remain,  however,  and  two  Quaker 
preachers,  William  Cole  and  George  Wilson,  soon  found  themselves 
in  prison  at  Jamestown.  Writing  "From  that  dirty  dungeon  in  James- 
town," in  1662,  they  described  the  prison  as  a  place  ".  .  .  where  we  have 
not  the  benefit  to  do  what  nature  requireth,  nor  so  much  as  air,  to  blow 
in  at  a  window,  but  close  made  up  with  brick  and  lime.  ..."  Lord  Balti- 
more (George  Calvert)  did  not  find  the  colony  hospitable  when  he 
visited  Jamestown  with  his  family  in  1629,  for,  being  a  Roman  Catholic, 
he  could  not  take  the  Oath  of  Allegiance  and  Supremacy  which  denied 
the  authority  of  the  Pope. 

bacon's  rebellion,  1676-77.  Bacon's  Rebellion,  one  of  the  most  dra- 
matic episodes  in  the  history  of  the  English  colonies,  stands  out  as  a 
highlight  in  17th-century  Virginia.  It  broke  in  spectacular  fashion 
and  is  often  hailed  as  a  forerunner  of  the  Revolution.  It  constituted  the 
only  serious  civil  disturbance  experienced  by  Virginia  during  its  entire 
life  as  a  British  colony.  It  occupies  a  prominent  spot  in  the  annals  of 
the  times,  and  in  any  chronicle  of  Jamestown  its  significance  can  be  mul- 
tiplied many  times,  for  a  number  of  its  stirring  events  took  place  at  the 


seat  of  government  and  resulted  in  excessive  physical  destruction  in  the 

The  rebellion  had  its  origin  in  Indian  frontier  difficulties  and  a  royal 
Governor  (Sir  William  Berkeley)  who,  possibly  as  a  result  of  his  in- 
volvement in  the  Indian  trade,  had  become  somewhat  dictatorial,  tyran- 
nical, and  a  firm  advocate  of  the  status  quo.  The  leader  for  the  exposed 
frontiersmen  and  the  generally  disgruntled  Virginians  came  in  the  per- 
son of  Nathaniel  Bacon,  a  young  man  of  good  birth,  training,  and  educa- 
tion who  had  come  to  Virginia  in  1674.  A  distant  kinsman  of  Lord 
Chancellor  Francis  Bacon  and  a  relative  of  another  Nathaniel  Bacon, 
who  was  a  leading  citizen  of  Virginia,  he  soon  became  established  as  a 
first-rate  planter  at  Curies,  in  Henrico  County,  and  was  admitted  to  the 
Governor's  Council  not  long  after  his  arrival. 

Considerable  underlying  discontent  had  been  aroused  in  Virginia  by 
the  low  prices  for  tobacco,  the  cumulative  effects  of  the  Navigation 
Acts,  high  taxes,  and  autocratic  rule  by  Berkeley,  whose  loyal  support- 
ers permeated  the  government  structure  and  had  not  allowed  an  election 
of  burgesses  for  15  years.  The  spark  came  from  the  depredations  of  the 
Susquehanna  Indians  who  were  being  forced  south  by  the  powerful  Iro- 
quois. They  made  attacks  all  along  the  Virginia  frontier.  Berkeley  ordered 
a  counterattack,  but  cancelled  it  in  favor  of  maintaining  a  system  of 
forts  along  the  edge  of  the  western  settlements.  In  March  1676,  the 
Assembly  at  Jamestown  made  plans  for  new  forts;  this  measure,  how- 
ever, was  both  time-consuming  and  ineffective.  Among  the  leaders  who 
assembled  at  the  falls  of  the  James  for  consultation  regarding  the  Indian 
menace  was  the  young  Nathaniel  Bacon.  William  Byrd  I  was  there,  too, 
and,  even  though  he  was  the  officer  who  had  been  named  to  guard  the 
frontier,  Bacon  was  placed  in  command  of  the  men  sent  to  attack  the 
enemy  Indians.  A  messenger  left  to  request  a  commission  for  him  from 
the  governor.  Berkeley  replied  that  he  would  discuss  the  matter  with  his 
Council.  Bacon  then  set  out  with  his  men  to  collect  allies  from  among 
the  friendly  Indians.  While  Bacon  was  on  the  march  he  received  word 
from  Berkeley  ordering  him  to  return  or  be  declared  a  rebel.  Bacon  did 
not  turn  back  but  continued  into  the  wilderness  in  search  of  the  enemy. 
Action  came  at  Occaneechee  Island.  Bacon  returned  with  captives  and 
was  hailed  as  a  hero  by  those  who  had  heard  of  his  exploits. 

Governor  Berkeley  realized  that  the  situation  was  becoming  critical  and 
that  he  could  lose  control  of  his  government.  Prompt  action  was  neces- 
sary. He  dissolved  the  House  of  Burgesses  and  ordered  a  new  election. 
The  result  was  that  many  of  his  loyal  adherents  were  replaced  by  repre- 
sentatives, some  of  whom  were  unfriendly,  even  hostile,  to  him.  The  new 
assembly  convened  in  the  statehouse  at  "James  Citty"  on  June  5,  1676, 
and  among  the  burgesses  was  the  defiant  Bacon  who  had  been  returned 
by  the  voters  of  Henrico.  An  announced  rebel  and  not  yet  formally  re- 
moved from  the  council,  it  is  doubtful  that  he  was  eligible  for  his  seat, 
yet  he  determined  to  go  to  Jamestown  and  present  his  credentials. 


He  boarded  his  sloop,  accompanied  by  about  40  supporters,  and  sailed 
down  the  James.  When  near  Jamestown  he  sent  ahead  to  inquire  whether 
he  would  be  allowed  to  enter  the  town  in  peace.  A  shot  from  a  cannon 
in  the  fort  gave  the  negative  answer.  Despite  this,  Bacon  secretly  went 
ashore  at  night  to  confer  with  two  of  his  friends  then  living  in  James- 
town—William Drummond,  a  former  governor  in  Carolina,  and  Richard 
Lawrence,  a  former  Oxford  student.  Later  that  night  he  returned  to  his 
boat  and  started  back  up  the  James,  but  was  taken  by  an  officer  whom 
Berkeley  had  sent  out  to  apprehend  him.  A  dramatic  scene  followed  at 

Bacon  was  brought  before  the  governor,  paroled,  and  restored  to  the 
council.  Berkeley  knew  that  his  opponent  had  the  upper  hand  and  that 
the  House  of  Burgesses,  then  in  session,  was  against  him.  Bacon  seem- 
ingly could  have  remained  in  the  capital  and  personally  directed  a  full 
program  of  economic  and  political  reform.  This  evidently  was  not  his 
aim.  He  demanded  a  commission  to  go  against  the  Indians,  and,  when 
Berkeley  delayed,  he  disappeared  from  Jamestown,  later  saying  that  his 
person  was  in  danger,  although  this  appears  unlikely.  Bacon  now  en- 
tered a  course  from  which  he  could  not  turn  back.  With  a  sizable  group 
of  supporters,  on  June  23,  he  returned  again  to  Jamestown.  He  crossed 
the  isthmus  ".  .  .  there  le[a]veing  a  party  to  secure  the  passage,  then 
marched  into  Towne,  .  .  .  [sent]  partyes  to  the  ferry,  River  &  fort, 
&  .  .  .  [drew]  his  forces  against  the  state  house."  In  the  face  of  this 
show  of  force,  the  governor  gave  him  a  commission,  and  the  burgesses 
passed  measures  designed  to  correct  many  old  abuses.  Among  the  new 
laws  was  one  establishing  the  bounds  of  Jamestown  to  include  the 
entire  island  and  giving  the  residents  within  these  bounds  the  right,  for 
the  first  time,  to  make  their  own  local  ordinances. 

By  this  time  Bacon  and  his  men  were  arrayed  solidly  against  both 
governor  and  royal  government.  The  issue  was  defeat  or  independence 
for  Virginia,  but  Virginia  was  not  yet  ready  and  did  not  elect  to  face  the 
issue.  Bacon,  it  seems,  wanted  extreme  measures,  and  there  is  evidence 
to  indicate  that  he  visualized  the  formation  of  an  American  Republic. 
Yet  when  Bacon  established  himself  as  the  opponent  of  royal  govern- 
ment in  Virginia  and  subordinated  his  role  as  supporter  of  the  frontier 
settlers  against  misrule,  he  lost  popular  support.  Had  he  lived  and  suc- 
ceeded in  arms,  it  is  questionable  that  the  people  would  have  backed 
him,  for  they  had  not  shown  much  disposition  to  defy  royal  authority. 
The  discontent  at  this  time  was  not  so  much  against  that  authority  as 
against  the  misuse  of  it  by  Sir  William  Berkeley. 

The  issues  having  been  drawn,  Bacon  pursued  his  course  to  the  bitter 
end.  He  returned  to  Henrico.  When  about  to  move  a  second  time  against 
the  Indians,  news  came  that  Berkeley  was  attempting  to  raise  troops  in 
Gloucester  County.  Consequently,  it  was  to  Gloucester  that  Bacon  first 
moved,  onlv  to  find  that  his  opponent  had  withdrawn  to  Accomac,  on 


the  Eastern  Shore  of  Virginia.  On  August  1,  at  Middle  Plantation  (later 
Williamsburg),  Bacon  sought  to  administer  his  oath  of  loyalty  and  to  an- 
nounce his  "Declaration  of  the  People"  to  those  assembled  there  at  his 
summons.  His  next  move  was  against  the  Pamunkey  Indians.  Then  it 
seemed  necessary  that  he  move  again  on  Berkeley  who  now  had  returned 
to  Jamestown. 

On  September  13,  1676,  he  drew  up  his  "few  weake  and  Tyr'd  [tired]" 
men  in  the  "Green  Spring  Old  Field,"  just  above  Jamestown,  and  posted 
lookouts  on  Glasshouse  Point.  Then  he  ordered  the  construction  of  a 
trench  across  the  island  end  of  the  isthmus.  A  raiding  party  advanced 
as  far  as  the  palisade,  near  the  edge  of  Jamestown  proper.  Berkeley 
ordered  several  ships  brought  up  as  close  to  the  shore  as  possible.  Their 
guns  and  the  small  arms  of  the  men  along  the  palisades  opened  fire 
against  Bacon,  but  proved  ineffective  in  routing  him  from  his  entrench- 
ments. On  September  15,  Berkeley  organized  a  sally,  "with  horse  and 
foote  in  the  Van,"  which  retreated  under  hot  fire  from  Bacon's  entrench- 
ments. At  this  point  Berkeley's  force  lost  heart,  while  his  opponent's 
spirit  reached  a  new  high.  In  any  event,  after  a  week  of  siege,  the  gov- 
ernor felt  compelled  to  withdraw  from  Jamestown.  This  he  did,  by  boat, 

A  prepared  drawing  of  the  plat  of  a  survey  made  for  William  Sherwood 
at  Jamestown  in  1680.  "Roades"  indicates  the  course  of  the  "Greate 
Road"  that  connected  the  town  with  the  mainland.  On  the  left  the 
isthmus  that  joined  the  "Island"  to  Glasshouse  Point  is  shown. 


with  many  of  his  supporters.  This  was  the  high  point  of  Bacon's  for- 
tune in  arms,  and  a  costly  one.  Seemingly,  it  was  during  the  fatiguing 
siege,  which  came  "in  a  wett  Season,"  that  he  contracted  the  illness  that 
caused  his  death  and  brought  an  abrupt  end  to  the  rebellion. 

Following  Berkeley's  withdrawal,  Bacon  and  his  tired  force  marched 
into  Jamestown  for  rest.  Wholesale  destruction  followed.  As  a  contem- 
porary put  it,  "Here  resting  a  few  daies  they  concerted  the  burning  of 
the  town,  wherein  Mr.  Laurence  [Richard  Lawrence]  and  Mr.  [William] 
Drummond  owning  the  two  best  houses  save  one,  set  fire  each  to  his 
own  house,  which  example  the  souldiers  following  laid  the  whole  town 
(with  church  and  State  house)  in  ashes.  .  .  ."  It  is  known  from  the  rec- 
ords that  the  destruction  was  systematic  and  that  the  town  suffered 
heavily  from  the  burning.  Among  those  losing  homes  and  possessions 
of  high  value  were  Col.  Thomas  Swann,  Maj.  Theophilus  Hone  "high 
sheriff  of  Jamestown,"  William  Sherwood,  and  Mr.  James'  "orphan," 
the  last  to  the  value  of  £1,000.  It  was  estimated  that  total  losses  reached 
a  value  of  1,500,000  pounds  of  tobacco.  Again  the  idea  was  advanced  to 
move  the  seat  of  government  from  Jamestown  to  some  more  desirable 
location.  A  little  later,  Tindall's  (now  Gloucester)  Point,  on  the  York, 
was  given  preferential  consideration  by  the  assembly  as  a  fit  location. 
The  move  was  not  made,  however,  and  the  capital  remained  at  James- 
town for  another  quarter  of  a  century. 

From  Jamestown,  Berkeley  moved  once  more  to  the  Eastern  Shore. 
Bacon,  whose  men  pillaged  Green  Spring  (Berkeley's  home  on  the  main- 
land, just  above  Jamestown)  on  the  way,  marched  to  Gloucester,  where 
he  became  ill  and  died  on  October  26, 1676.  The  rebellion,  now  without 
a  real  leader,  quickly  collapsed.  Joseph  Ingram,  successor  to  Bacon,  and 
Gregory  Wakelett,  cavalry  leader  in  Gloucester  County,  surrendered  in 
January  1677;  Lawrence  disappeared  in  the  Chickahominy  marshes;  and 
Drummond  was  promptly  hanged.  Berkeley  moved  with  haste  to  silence 
his  opponents,  making  ready  use  of  the  death  sentence. 

Accommodations  for  the  conduct  of  government  were  now  wholly 
inadequate  at  Jamestown.  Consequently,  Berkeley  called  the  assembly 
to  meet  at  Green  Spring,  which  functioned  for  a  time  almost  as  the 
temporary  capital.  In  February  1677,  the  commissioners  who  were  sent 
to  investigate  Bacon's  Rebellion  arrived  in  Virginia.  With  them  came 
about  1,000  troops  who  encamped  at  Jamestown  for  the  remainder  of 
the  winter  and  ensuing  spring.  The  commissioners,  among  them  Col. 
Herbert  Jeffreys,  the  next  governor,  finding  so  much  ruin  and  desolation 
at  Jamestown,  made  their  headquarters  in  the  home  of  Col.  Thomas 
Swann  across  the  James  from  the  capital  town.  Berkeley  left  for  England 
in  May,  and  Jeffreys  took  control  in  Virginia.  It  was  not  until  March 
1679,  however,  that  definite  action  (following  a  recommendation  of  the 
investigating  commissioners)  was  taken  for  the  restoration  of  Jamestown. 
Then  it  was  ordered,  in  England,  that  the  town  be  rebuilt  and  made  the 
metropolis  of  Virginia  "as  the  most  ancient  and  convenient  place." 


A  section  from  the  "Plan  du  Terrein  a  la  Rive  Gauche  de  la  Riviere 
de  James  vis-a-vis  James-Town  en  Virginie  ..."  done  by  Colonel 
Desandrouins,  of  the  French  Army,  in  1781. 

Jamestown  rebuilt.  Lord  Culpeper  reached  Virginia  in  May  1680, 
with  instructions  to  rebuild  Jamestown  and  to  develop  it  into  an  urban 
center.  In  1683,  he  was  able  to  report  that  he  had  given  all  possible  en- 
couragement to  this  enterprise  and  that,  although  he  himself  was  living 
at  Green  Spring,  considerable  activity  had  begun.  He  mentioned  specifi- 
cally that  Nathaniel  Bacon  (the  kinsman  of  the  rebel),  Joseph  Bridger, 
and  William  Sherwood  had  substantial  work  under  way.  A  little  later 
the  fourth  statehouse  was  completed,  as  was  the  church.  By  1697  the 
town  had  been  rebuilt  and  boasted  of  a  statehouse,  country  house,  church, 
fort,  powder  magazine,  and  20  or  30  houses.  In  this  period  William  Sher- 
wood, for  a  time  attorney  general  for  the  colony,  was  a  major  landholder 
on  the  island  and  in  the  town.  Others  included  Robert  Beverley,  author 
of  one  of  the  early  histories  of  Virginia;  William  Edwards,  clerk  of  the 
Council;  Henry  Hartwell;  and  John  Page.  It  was  in  1686  that  John 
Clayton,  minister  at  Jamestown,  offered  proposals  for  draining  the 
marshes  nearby  to  improve  the  healthfulness  of  the  spot,  a  project  that 
never  materialized. 

statehouse  burned  and  capital  moved.  On  October  31,  1698,  a  fire 
consumed  the  statehouse,  prison,  and  probably  other  buildings  at  James- 
town, although  the  records  and  papers  were  saved.  This  fire  led  to  the 
removal  of  the  seat  of  government  to  Middle  Plantation  (Williams- 


burg)— a  spot  favored  by  the  Governor,  Sir  Francis  Nicholson.  Thus, 
Jamestown  was  abandoned  as  the  seat  of  government  after  92  years. 
Its  mission  had  been  accomplished,  and  it  had  seen  Virginia  grow 
from  the  small  settlement  of  1607  into  a  colony  of  great  extent,  with  a 
population  of  perhaps  80,000. 

later  years  AT  Jamestown.  The  removal  of  the  capital  ultimately 
proved  the  death  blow  for  Jamestown,  for  this  eliminated  the  primary 
reason  for  its  existence.  Decline  set  in  immediately,  but  Jamestown  re- 
tained a  seat  in  the  assembly  for  another  three-quarters  of  a  century. 
Its  end  as  a  town,  legally  and  physically,  may  be  given  as  the  period 
of  the  American  Revolution.  There  was  a  military  post  here  early  in 
that  struggle.  Later,  it  became  a  point  of  exchange  for  American  and 
British  prisoners  of  war,  and  it  featured  in  the  maneuvers  leading  to  the 
Siege  of  Yorktown.  It  witnessed  the  movement  of  Cornwallis'  army 
across  the  James  and  was  a  landing  and  resting  point  for  American  and 
French  soldiers  being  sent  to  join  Washington's  allied  army. 

Even  before  1700,  property  on  Jamestown  Island  was  being  con- 
solidated into  a  few  hands.  The  consolidation  continued  unabated  after 
this  date,  and  before  the  middle  of  the  18th  century  the  major  part  of 
the  island  was  in  the  hands  of  two  families— Ambler  and  Travis— each 
of  which  had  its  own  "mansion."  The  Travis  family  estate  at  James- 
town had  grown  slowly  since  before  1650,  and  Richard  Ambler,  of 

A  watercolor  by  Robert  M.  Sully  showing  the  shoreline  at  Jamestown 
in  1854  at  a  point  just  above  the  Old  Church  Tower.  In  this  period 
erosion  was  slowly  destroying  the  west  end  of  the  site  of  "Old  James 
Towne."  (Original  in  the  collection  of  the  late  Miss  Julia  Sully, 
Richmond,  Va.) 


Yorktown,  acquired,  through  marriage,  the  extensive  Jaquelin,  formerly 
Sherwood,  holdings.  After  1830,  the  island  came  under  a  single  owner- 
ship. Under  the  Amblers  and  Travises  and  later  owners  of  the  island, 
even  parts  of  the  townsite  itself  became  farm  land  and  functioned  as 
an  integral  part  of  the  plantation  system  which  earlier  events  at  James- 
town had  helped  so  materially  to  create. 

The  fields,  and  woods,  and  marshes  lay  quietly  on  the  James  for  gen- 
erations, contributing  in  a  small,  but  important,  manner  to  a  growing 
country.  Americans  often  remembered  the  early  years  of  the  colony  and 
the  momentous  events  that  had  taken  place  on  the  island,  and  joined 
here  to  commemorate  the  deeds  of  their  forefathers.  There  was  the 
Bicentennial  of  1807,  the  Virginiad  of  1822,  the  250th  anniversary  in 
1857,  and  the  Tercentennial  of  1907.  In  the  years  between  these  events 
there  were  thousands  who  came  individually  and  in  small  groups,  the 
famous  and  those  now  unknown.  It  was  this  remembrance  and  loyalty 
to  one  of  its  great  landmarks  that  led  to  the  establishment  of  Jamestown 
Island  as  a  national  historic  shrine. 

Jamestown  National  Historic  Site 

The  first  organized  effort  toward  saving  the  Jamestown  area  came  in 
1893  when  the  Association  for  the  Preservation  of  Virginia  Antiquities 
acquired  22.5  acres  of  the  old  townsite.  This  land,  donated  for  preserva- 
tion by  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Edward  E.  Barney,  embraced  the  Old  Church 
Tower,  the  graveyard,  and  the  west  end  of  the  townsite. 

The  Association  which  was  chartered  in  1889  is  better  known,  per- 
haps, as  the  APVA.  It  is  a  non-profit  organization  interested  in  the 
acquisition,  preservation,  and  restoration  of  "ancient  historic  grounds, 
buildings,  monuments,  and  tombs  in  the  Commonwealth  of  Virginia" 
and  in  the  collection  and  care  of  relics  associated  with  them  or  with 
the  history  of  the  State.  Its  Jamestown  property  is  one  of  a  number  of 
holdings  which  it  administers.  Another  is  the  17th-century  Warren 
House  on  the  Rolfe  property  in  Surry  County  just  across  the  James 
River  from  Jamestown. 

Until  1934  the  Association  was  the  sole  active  agency  working  at 
Jamestown  to  conserve  and  interpret  the  site  for  the  American  people. 
As  the  custodian  of  a  significant  part  of  the  site  of  old  "James  Towne," 
it  continues  working  to  promote  measures  insuring  the  protection  of 
the  site  and  making  it  available  for  your  use  and  inspiration.  Land- 
scaping, limited  reconstruction,  some  restoration,  and  the  stabilization 
of  the  remains  of  the  Old  Church  Tower,  the  tombs,  and  foundations 
have  all  been  a  part  of  its  program;  together  with  the  acquisition  and 
display  of  Jamestown  relics.  In  its  work,  it  has  solicited  and  received 
aid  from  various  organizations,  particularly  patriotic  societies,  in  the 


placement  of  memorials,  and  related  activities.  The  Memorial  Church 
was  constructed  by  the  National  Society  of  the  Colonial  Dames  of 
America.  The  Association  was  especially  active  in  preparation  for  the 
Jamestown  Exposition  in  1907. 

The  Association  was  successful  in  its  efforts  to  encourage  the  United 
States  Government  to  construct  the  seawall  which  was  built  by  Col. 
Samuel  H.  Yonge  in  1900-1901  to  halt  bank  erosion  by  the  James  River 
along  the  Association  grounds.  Colonel  Yonge  became  a  serious  student 
of  Jamestown  history  and  wrote  The  Site  of  Old  "James  Towne,"  1607- 
1698,  a  work  still  available  through  purchase  from  the  Association. 
In  1907,  the  Association  made  available  the  grounds  on  which  the 
Tercentenary  Monument  was  erected,  and  again  in  1956  it  provided  land 
on  which  to  place  the  Jamestown  Visitor  Center. 

In  1940  the  Association  entered  into  agreement  with  the  United  States 
of  America,  through  the  Secretary  of  the  Interior,  to  provide  for  a  unified 
program  of  development  and  administration  for  the  island.  It  was  at  this 
time  that  the  APVA  grounds  were  designated  as  Jamestown  National 
Historic  Site.  The  joint  cooperative  agreement  continues  in  force  and 
the  Association  and  the  National  Park  Service  are  working  together  to 
preserve,  maintain,  and  interpret  this  historic  area. 

In  1956  it  became  possible  to  present  the  townsite  as  a  single  unit 
when  the  ferry  to  the  island  and  the  State  highway  crossing  the  island 
were  moved  upriver  above  Jamestown.  The  APVA  and  the  Service  then 
combined  their  separate  museum  exhibits  to  form  the  displays  now 
seen  in  the  Visitor  Center,  and  consolidated  other  operations  at  the 
center  where  both  are  hosts  to  Jamestown  visitors. 

Early  ceramic  types  found  in  the  excavations. 


Colonial  National  Historical  Park 

In  1930,  by  Presidential  proclamation,  all  of  Jamestown  Island's  1,559.5 
acres  (equally  divided  between  marsh  and  dry  land)  were  included 
within  the  boundaries  of  Colonial  National  Monument.  The  monu- 
ment designation  was  changed  to  that  of  a  national  historical  park  by 
act  of  Congress  in  1936.  Actual  Federal  ownership  of  the  island  (other 
than  the  22-acre  Association  tract)  was  obtained  in  1934,  and  some  years 
later,  a  bit  of  the  mainland  opposite  the  western  tip  of  Jamestown  was 
added  because  of  its  close  ties  to  the  site. 

Colonial  National  Historical  Park  is  made  up  of  several  areas  of 
which  Jamestown  is  one.  It  includes,  as  well,  the  Cape  Henry  Memorial, 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Chesapeake  Bay,  where  the  first  settlers  who  estab- 
lished Jamestown  first  stopped  in  Virginia;  the  Yorktown  Battlefield; 
and  the  Colonial  Parkway. 

Colonial  Parkway 

This  23-mile  scenic  motor  road  connects  historic  Jamestown,  Williams- 
burg, and  Yorktown.  Along  its  course  are  descriptive  markers  that  give 
bits  of  history  which  often  show  the  interrelation  of  Jamestown  (where 
the  Nation  began),  Williamsburg  (the  18th-century  capital  of  Virginia 
where  important  elements  of  our  Revolutionary  leadership  were 
nourished),  and  Yorktown  (where  the  climatic  battle  in  our  struggle 
for  independence  was  fought). 

The  Study  of  Jamestown 

When  the  major  part  of  Jamestown  Island,  including  much  of  the  town- 
site,  was  placed  in  its  custody  in  1934,  the  National  Park  Service, 
working  with  the  Association  for  the  Preservation  of  Virginia  Antiqui- 
ties, assumed  responsibility  for  preservation  of  the  historic  remains  on 
the  island  and  for  interpreting  the  site.  This  posed  many  problems,  for 
the  Jamestown  story  is  a  vital  segment  of  our  national  history,  involv- 
ing the  origins  and  growth  of  the  culture  of  this  formative  period  of 
English  colonization.  The  first  pressing  concern  was  the  accumulation 
of  data  on  which  to  base  a  more  complete  understanding  of  life  and 
conditions  as  they  existed  at  that  time,  specifically  at  Jamestown.  This 
was  needed  in  order  to  plan  for  the  preservation,  development,  and 
interpretation  of  the  area. 

A  program  was  drawn  up  which  combined  the  various  types  of 
research  that  the  conditions  and  problems  at  Jamestown  required.  The 
overall  objective  was  to  secure  and  preserve  all  possible  data  on  James- 
town history  (giving  history  its  broadest  interpretation),  and  to  gain 


a  well-rounded  picture  of  the  growth  of  agriculture,  industry,  com- 
merce,; and  society  during  the  period  Jamestown  was  inhabited. 

Trained  historians  began  to  search  in  the  leading  libraries  of  the 
country.  At  Jamestown,  engineers  and  archeologists,  assisted  by  his- 
torians, architects,  and  museum  technicians,  began  to  survey  the  island. 
Little  of  the  old  town  existed  aboveground,  yet  it  was  known  that  there 
were,  in  all  probability,  extensive  remains  underground.  Systematic 
excavation  was  begun  on  the  townsite  on  July  11,  1934. 

In  the  beginning,  it  was  recognized  that  the  program  would  be  of 
long  duration.  Initially,  in  the  years  prior  to  World  War  II,  the  sup- 
port of  the  Emergency  Conservation  Work  (ECW)  and  the  Civilian 
Conservation  Corps  (CCC)  proved  invaluable.  Work  all  but  ceased 
during  the  war  years  and  went  on  at  a  very  slow  rate  in  the  years  just 
after  the  war.  The  program  was  renewed  with  vigor  in  1954  as  plans 
for  Jamestown's  350th  anniversary  began  to  materialize. 

On  June  1,  1938,  a  field  laboratory  and  storage  building  to  house 
the  Jamestown  activities  was  completed,  giving  the  project  an  adequate 
physical  plant.  It  soon  came  to  house  thousands  of  cultural  objects  and 
included  offices  as  well  as  facilities  for  cleaning,  sorting,  storing,  and 
cataloguing  excavated  materials.  This  temporary  building  served  the 
need  for  study,  and  later  for  interpretation,  until  it  was  removed  early 
in  1957.  It  was  replaced,  although  on  a  different  site,  by  the  Jamestown 
Visitor  Center  early  in  1957. 

Excavation  in  progress  at  Jamestown  in   1955. 


Lighting  equipment  as  used 
at  Jamestown.  (These  objects 
were  excavated  on  the  site.) 

The  findings  of  the  program  have  been  extensive.  Documentary  study 
has  gleaned  data  which,  when  carefully  examined,  yields  a  more  com- 
plete picture  of  17th-century  Jamestown  than  was  thought  possible. 
However,  the  picture  is  sketchy  and  needs  the  details  filled  in.  For  this 
reason,  research  continues  in  anticipation  of  bridging  the  gaps. 

Archeological  work  proved  more  fruitful  than  the  most  optimistic  had 
anticipated  during  the  initial  phases  of  the  work.  The  materials  and  in- 
formation found  beneath  the  ground  at  Jamestown  have  been  astonish- 
ing in  both  quantity  and  type.  Architectural  and  constructural  findings 
are  of  various  types.  More  than  a  hundred  building-remains  have  been 
excavated.  Some  are  only  the  footings  for  a  frame  structure,  some  are 
brick  foundations  in  full  outline,  and  others  are  well-preserved  cellars 
with  interesting  structural  detail.  Associated  with  the  sites  are  fragments 
of  hardware,  glass,  roofing  tile,  and  related  building  materials.  Some  of 
the  building  remains  are  those  of  the  most  prominent  structures  at 
Jamestown,  such  as  statehouses  and  governors'  houses.  Brick  kilns  have 
been  found,  one  being  the  well-preserved  ruins  in  the  Association 
grounds,  showing  clearly  that  17th-century  Virginians  made  much  of 
their  own  brick  and  roofing  tile.  Pottery  manufacture  has  been  docu- 
mented as  well  as  other  such  activities.  Several  types  of  early  wells,  often 
brick-lined,  have  yielded  many  objects  dropped  in  accidentally,  or  by 
design,  while  they  were  still  in  use. 


Even  road  traces  still  exist.  Some  of  them,  considered  in  the  light  of 
documentary  references,  have  made  it  possible  to  reestablish  the  route  of 
the  "Greate  Road"  formerly  connecting  the  island  and  the  mainland. 
The  reopening  of  old  property  line  ditches  and  the  rediscovery  of  fence 
lines  (by  identifying  old  post  holes)  have  aided  immeasurably  in  locat- 
ing property  tracts.  This  information,  added  to  that  of  the  old  land 
grants  and  survey  plats,  has  made  possible  the  location  of  many  early 
landholdings  and  has  helped  in  the  study  of  the  physical  layout  of  the 
town.  Other  features  uncovered  include  lime  kilns,  where  the  early 
Jamestown  builders  burned  their  own  lime  for  plaster— occasionally 
found  still  clinging  to  basement  walls— and  brick  drains. 

The  number  and  variety  of  objects  found  in  the  excavations  can  only 
be  indicated  in  general  terms.  The  great  bulk  of  thousands  of  items  now 
collected  is  made  up  of  pieces  of  iron,  copper,  brass,  bronze,  pewter,  clay, 
and  earth.  Occasionally  some  more  perishable  materials,  such  as  wool, 
leather,  and  wood,  are  found.  Among  the  more  interesting  finds  are  clay 
tobacco  pipes,  glass  wine  bottles,  pottery  vessels,  Delft  tiles,  gun  and 
sword  fragments,  bullets,  cannon  balls,  spurs,  bits  of  armor,  stirrups  and 
bridles,  locks,  keys,  nails,  spoons,  forks,  shears,  pins,  thimbles,  axes,  hoes, 
window  glass,  buckles,  combs,  and  rings.  A  complete  list  would  be  much 
longer.  Often  only  fragments  remain,  yet  in  many  cases  it  is  possible  to 
make  a  full  restoration  of  the  original  piece,  such  as  has  been  done  with 
a  clay  baking  oven.  A  special  illustrated  publication  is  available,  in  pop- 
ular style,  describing  the  archeological  work  and  the  collection. 

Individually  and  collectively,  these  objects  give  us  an  insight  into  the 
manner  in  which  17th-century  Jamestown  men  and  their  families  lived. 

In  early  Jamestown,  water  came  from  shallow  wells  which  often  had 
a  barrel  at  the  bottom  such  as  this  found  still  in  place. 



Sgraffito— often  called  "scratch"  ware  since  the  design  was  scratched 
into  the  upper  layer  of  pliable  clay  before  it  was  baked— is  one  of 
the  most  common  1 7th-century  ceramic  types  found  at  Jamestown. 

These  objects  will  help  you  get  a  more  complete  picture  of  the  first  Vir- 
ginians—how they  dressed,  worked,  built  and  equipped  their  homes,  and 
satisfied  their  daily  needs. 

The  Development  of  Jamestown 

No  attempt  will  be  made  to  restore  Jamestown  as  it  was  in  1607  or  at 
any  other  period.  The  town  was  always  small  and  always  changing. 
Jamestown,  it  might  be  said,  was  never  a  city  in  the  modern  concept.  It 
was  more  a  village,  a  small  community.  The  town  of  1607,  or  1610,  was 
unlike  that  of  1623,  and  that  of  1623  was  far  different  from  that  of  1675. 
Architecture  went  all  the  way  from  timber  and  thatch  structures  to  sub- 
stantial all-brick  houses.  Even  if  the  town  had  had  a  reasonable  contin- 
uity of  building  types  and  plan,  known  information  would  be  entirely 
insufficient  to  allow  a  restoration.  Major  discoveries  of  new  material  are 
still  expected,  yet  the  detail  necessary  for  an  authentic  restoration  may 
always  be  too  meager. 

The  site  of  old  "James  Towne"  has,  however,  retained  much  of  the 
spirit  of  its  antiquity.  Its  serene  and  peaceful  atmosphere  seems  to  take 
one  back  through  the  years.  You  may  be  able,  for  a  moment,  to  disasso- 
ciate yourself  from  the  swift  pace  of  present  living  as  you  wander  past 
the  old  foundations  and  look  upon  the  Old  Church  Tower. 

The  National  Park  Service,  following  the  precedent  established  by  the 
Association,  is  endeavoring  to  preserve  this  unbroken  link  with  the  past. 


The  emphasis  is  on  the  presentation  of  the  townsite  itself  and  the  island 
wilderness  as  the  real  exhibit.  There  are  "streets"  and  winding  paths,  ex- 
posed and  marked  foundations,  existing  remains,  paintings  of  buildings 
and  scenes,  property  markings  (old  ditches,  fences  of  period  design,  and 
hedges),  and  natural  planting.  Shaded  vistas  and  secluded  points  for 
quiet  reflection  are  provided  as  much  as  possible.  Some  use  is  being  made 
of  period-type  buildings  (but  not  specific  reconstructions)  as  in  the 
"glasshouse"  with  its  thatch,  wattle  and  daub,  and  "cruck"  design. 

Physical  features  of  the  17th  century  have  not  survived  at  Jamestown 
in  sufficient  number  to  illustrate  the  complete  story,  and  the  townsite 
will  not  adapt  itself  to  a  full  coverage.  However,  there  are  extensive  sup- 
plementary exhibits  in  the  Jamestown  Visitor  Center,  which  are  designed 
to  help  you  understand  and  "experience"  Jamestown. 

The  Old  Church  Tower,  standing  on  the  grounds  of  the  Association 
for  the  Preservation  of  Virginia  Antiquities,  was  probably  built  about 







Guide  to  the  Area 

(Numbers  correspond  to  numbers  on  the  map  on  page  43.) 

"James  Towne"  developed  on  the  west  end  of  Jamestown  Island.  At  its 
maximum  extent  it  lay  along  the  river  for  approximately  three-quarters 
of  a  mile.  It  was  a  thin  strip  of  a  town  between  the  James  River  and  the 
marsh  that  came  to  be  called  Pitch  and  Tar  Swamp.  At  first  there  was 
only  the  fort,  then  an  enlarged  palisaded  area.  Gradually  the  town  grew 
with  the  building  of  houses,  a  church,  a  market  place,  shops,  storehouses, 
forts,  statehouses,  and  other  public  buildings  grouped  along  streets  and 
paths.  The  entire  townsite  is  an  exhibit  area.  The  Visitor  Center  (1),  at 
its  edge,  is  a  short  distance  from  the  parking  area  across  a  trestle  bridge 
spanning  Pitch  and  Tar  Swamp. 

In  the  Visitor  Center,  sponsored  jointly  by  the  Association  for  the 
Preservation  of  Virginia  Antiquities  and  the  National  Park  Service,  an 
orientation  program  of  movies  and  slides,  an  information  desk,  an  ex- 
tensive series  of  exhibits,  and  literature  and  souvenirs  are  available.  The 
exhibits  include  many  irreplaceable  objects,  such  as  earrings  of  Poca- 
hontas, and  many  objects  recovered  from  the  ground.  There  are 
dioramas,  a  large  model  of  James  Fort,  illustrated  panels,  and  other  dis- 
plays telling  about  early  Jamestown  and  explaining  the  points  of  interest 
on  the  townsite  and  along  the  island  tour  or  drive. 

The  adjacent  townsite  is  easily  reached  from  the  Visitor  Center,  and  a 
good  general  view  of  it  may  be  had  from  the  observation  terrace  around 


the  Tercentenary  Monument  (2).  This  shaft  of  New  Hampshire  granite 
rising  103  feet  above  its  base  was  erected  in  1907  to  commemorate  the 
300th  anniversary  of  the  settlement^ 

A  footpath  leads  from  the  monument  terrace  to  the  church  area,  cross- 
ing the  trace  of  the  "Greate  Road,"  which  served  the  town's  residents 
some  300  years  ago.  It  passes  close  to  the  site  of  a  17th-century  brick  kiln 
just  inside  the  entrance  to  the  APVA  grounds. 

The  Church  Area  (3),  the  most  inspiring  spot  at  Jamestown  today, 
embraces  the  Old  Tower,  the  Memorial  Church,  and  the  Churchyard. 
The  ivy-covered  Old  Church  Tower  is  the  only  standing  ruin  of  the  17th- 
century  town.  It  is  believed  to  have  been  a  part  of  the  first  brick  church 
built  about  1639-  Its  3-foot-thick  walls  of  handmade  brick  laid  in  English 
bond  have  been  standing  for  more  than  300  years.  The  Memorial  Church, 
directly  behind  the  tower,  was  erected  in  1907  by  the  National  Society 
of  the  Colonial  Dames  of  America  over  the  foundations  of  the  early 
brick  church.  Within  the  church  are  memorials  and  burials,  including 
the  "Knight's"  tomb  and  that  of  Rev.  John  Clough. 

Of  particular  note,  inside  the  church,  are  the  exposed  cobblestone  founda- 
tions of  an  earlier  church  said  to  have  housed  the  first  representative  legis- 
lative assembly  in  America  which  convened  at  Jamestown  on  July  30, 
1619.  In  the  Churchyard  many  dead  are  buried,  and  the  few  gravestones 
that  have  survived  the  wear  of  time  and  weather  are  a  witness  to  the 
antiquity  of  the  spot.  These  carry  the  names  of  Berkeley,  Blair,  Harrison, 
Ludwell,  Bevereley,  Lee,  Sherwood,  and  others.  Even  the  extent  of  the 
burial  ground  is  unknown.  It  is  more  extensive  than  either  the  iron  grill 
fence  or  the  old  wall  (built  of  bricks  from  the  ruins  of  one  of  the  17th- 
century  Jamestown  churches)  suggests. 

Adjacent  to  the  church  are  a  number  of  memorials  and  monuments 
erected  through  the  years,  particularly  in  1907,  to  commemorate  im- 

The  foundations  of  the  Last  (fourth)  State  house  Group  as  it  extends 
toward  the  James  River.  It  was  the  burning  of  this  state  house  in 
1698  that  was  the  immediate  reason  for  moving  the  capital  of  the 
colony  from  Jamestown  to  Williamsburg. 

The  graveyard  near  the  Memorial  Church.  The  sycamore  (center) 
now  separates  the  graves  of  Rev.  James  Blair,  a  founder  of  William 
and  Mary  College,  from  that  of  his  wife,  Sarah  Harrison  Blair. 

portant  events  at  Jamestown  and  to  honor  some  of  those  outstanding  in 
Virginia  history.  These  include  the  House  of  Burgesses  Monument  (4)  list- 
ing the  members  of  America's  first  representative  legislative  assembly  in 
1619,  the  Pocahontas  Monument  (5),  by  William  Ordway  Partridge;  and 
the  Capt.John  Smith  Statue  (6),  designed  by  William  Couper. 

The  footpath  leads  to  the  concrete  walkway  on  the  edge  of  the  sea- 
wall. This  seawall  (built  in  1900-1901)  along  the  shoreline  of  the  Asso- 
ciation grounds  and  the  later  riprap  extension  of  it  now  protect  the  site 
from  further  erosion.  Walk  to  the  right  (upriver)  along  the  concrete 
walkway.  It  passes  near,  but  outside,  the  Confederate  earthwork  thrown 
up  in  1861  when  the  James  River  approach  to  Richmond  was  being 
fortified.  At  one  point  a  bit  of  history  can  be  read  from  the  ground  in  a 
Site  Use  Exhibit  (7).  The  earth  in  the  side  of  the  embankment  has  been 
carefully  sliced  and  various  levels  are  identified  — undisturbed  ground, 
the  level  of  Indian  use,  the  zone  with  evidences  of  17th-century  use,  and, 
topping  all,  the  earthwork  built  by  Confederate  troops  in  1861. 

Just  beyond,  but  at  a  point  now  in  the  river,  due  to  the  erosion  of  the 
last  three  centuries,  is  the  site  of  [ ( James  Fort"  (8),  which  was  built  in 
May  and  June  1607,  and  constituted  the  Jamestown  settlement  in  the 
first  few  years.  There  is  a  large  model  of  "James  Fort"  in  the  Visitor 
Center  and  a  full  scale  reconstruction  of  it  has  been  built  in  Festival 
Park  above  Glasshouse  Point  and  adjacent  to  the  Jamestown  terminus  of 
the  Colonial  Parkway. 

In  the  words  of  William  Strachey,  recorder  for  the  colony,  the  fort,  as 
built  in  1607,  and  standing  in  1610,  was  "cast  almost  into  the  forme  of  a 


Triangle,  and  so  Pallizadoed.  The  South  side  next  the  River  ...  by 
reason  the  advantage  of  the  ground  doth  so  require,  contains  one  hun- 
dred and  forty  yards:  the  West  and  East  sides  a  hundred  onely.  At  every 
Angle  or  corner,  where  the  lines  meete,  a  Bulwarke  or  Watchtower  is 
raised,  and  in  each  Bulwarke  a  peece  of  Ordnance  or  two  well  mounted. 
To  every  side,  a  proportioned  distance  from  the  Pallisado,  is  a  setled 
streete  of  houses,  that  run  along,  so  as  each  line  of  the  Angle  hath  his 
streete.  In  the  middest  is  a  market  place,  a  Store  house,  and  a  Corps  du 
guard,  as  likewise  a  pretty  Chappel  .  .  .  [all]  inclosed  .  .  .  round  with 
a  Pallizado  of  Planckes  and  strong  Posts,  foure  foote  deepe  in  the 
ground,  of  yong  Oakes,  Walnuts,  &c  .  .  .  the  principall  Gate  from  the 
Towne,  through  the  Pallizado,  opens  to  the  River  ...  at  each  Bulwarke 
there  is  a  Gate  likewise  to  goe  forth,  and  at  every  Gate  a  Demi-Culverin 
and  so  in  the  Market  Place  .  .  .  ." 

Just  beyond  the  fort  site,  approximately  125  feet  from  the  present  sea- 
wall, at  a  point  where  it  makes  a  pronounced  turn  to  the  right,  is  the 
First  Landing  Site  (9)  which  the  colonists  reached  on  May  13,  1607.  Here 
the  next  day,  all  came  ashore  and  landed  supplies.  This  spot,  like  the  fort 
site,  is  now  in  the  river.  The  Old  Cypress  (10),  standing  several  hundred 
feet  from  the  shore  above  the  landing  site,  is  said  to  have  stood  at  one 
time  on  the  edge  of  the  island.  This  is  visible  evidence  of  the  erosion 
that  has  taken  at  least  25  acres  of  the  western  part  of  the  townsite. 

The  Tercentenary  Monument 
erected  by  the  United  States  in 
1907,  to  commemorate  the 
300th  anniversary  of  the  land- 
ing of  the  first  permanent 
English  settlers  at  Jamestown. 

The  Hunt  Memorial  erected  to  the  memory  of  Rev.  Robert  Hunt,  first 
minister  at  Jamestown,  by  the  Colonial  Dames  of  America  in  the  State 
of  Virginia. 

Inshore,  at  this  point,  the  Memorial  Cross  (11)  occupies  a  position  of 
prominence.  This  marks  the  burial  ground  that  extended  along  the  ridge 
behind  it.  This  is  the  earliest  known  burial  ground  at  Jamestown  and  is 
thought  to  have  preceded  that  around  the  church.  It  was  along  this 
ridge,  first  used  as  a  cemetery,  that  Jamestown's  third  statehouse  (burned 
by  Nathaniel  Bacon,  Jr.,  in  1676)  was  constructed.  A  decade  later  the 
fourth  (and  last)  statehouse  was  built  on  the  same  site.  It  was  the  acci- 
dental burning  of  the  last  statehouse  and  the  structures  associated  with 
it,  in  1698,  that  was  the  immediate  reason  for  moving  the  seat  of  govern- 
ment from  Jamestown.  This  group  of  houses— the  Last  Statehouse  Group 
(12)— consisted  of  the  last  country  house,  three  houses  of  Philip  Lud- 
well,  and  the  fourth  statehouse.  The  foundations  are  marked  and  the 
footpath,  leaving  the  concrete  walkway,  follows  along  these  foundations 
and  passes  near  the  Memorial  Cross. 

The  walkway  now  returns  to  the  Church  area.  The  path  follows  across 
a  low  area,  known  in  the  old  days  as  the  "Vale,"  and  into  the  Confed- 
erate earthwork.  Here  is  the  bronze  relief  memorial  to  The  Rev.  Robert 
Hunt  (13).  He  was  the  chaplain  to  the  first  settlers.  On  the  third  Sunday 



t       « 

Owe  of  the  larger  of  the  Jamestown  foundations,  located  in  the  "New 
Towne"  section.  It  has  been  identified  as  the  "Country  House."  As  the 
foundations  indicate,  several  houses  occupied  this  site. 

after  Trinity,  in  June  1607,  he  administered  the  first  recorded  Holy  Com- 
munion according  to  the  rites  of  the  Church  of  England. 

The  tour  route  emerges  from  the  Confederate  earthworks  near  the  en- 
trance to  the  church  and  passes  again  near  the  Smith,  Pocahontas,  and 
House  of  Burgesses  markers  and  other  memorials.  Just  beyond,  the  tour 
leaves  the  Association  grounds  (the  west  end  of  the  site  of  old  "James 
Towne")  and  follows  a  walk  close  to  the  bank  of  the  river.  Beyond, 
stretches  the  eastern  section  of  "James  Towne." 

It  has  become  possible  to  define  on  the  ground  the  pattern  of  James- 
town as  it  existed  in  at  least  a  part  of  the  early  period.  Utilizing  the  route 

The  foundation  ruins  of  the  First  Statehouse  at  Jamestown,  where  the 
House  of  Burgessess  met  in  the  period  1640—55.  Believed  to  have  been 
used  earlier  by  Sir  John  Harvey. 

'•mm ii     V.,jir- 

of  the  "Greate  Road,"  "Back  Streete,"  "the  highway  close  to  the  river," 
and  various  connecting  ways,  a  plan  now  lays  on  the  ground  east  from 
the  Visitor  Center.  Exposed  original  foundations,  other  ruins  marked 
aboveground  in  brick  and  wood  (these  in  dull  white),  reopened  old 
ditches  (which  often  mark  property  lines),  fences  of  period  type,  and 
replanted  hedges  are  all  used.  Paintings  help  in  visualizing  the  houses 
that  once  stood  on  some  of  the  foundations  while  recorded  descriptions, 
narrative  markers,  and  other  aids  give  information  on  owners,  events, 
and  happenings. 

The  extreme  east  end  of  Jamestown  is  that  area  developed  after  1619, 
first  actually  surveyed  by  William  Claiborne  in  1623,  and  known  to  its 
first  residents  as  New  Towne.  Here  it  is  possible  to  locate,  plot,  and 
identify,  with  some  assurance,  a  number  of  the  early  property  holdings. 

There  is  the  plot  taken  up  by  Capt.  John  Harvey  in  1624,  on  which 
he  had  houses  and  where  he  kept  a  garden  and  cultivated  fruit  trees. 
Across  "Back  Streete"  from  the  Harvey  site  was  the  holding  of  Dr. 
John  Pott  who  was  sent  from  England  in  1621  accompanied  by  two 
surgeons  and  a  chest  of  medicine.  He  had  a  house  here  by  1622, 
although  it  was  not  until  after  this  date  that  he  obtained  his  land 

West  of  the  Harvey  site  was  the  home  and  lot  of  George  Menefie, 
an  attorney,  administrator,  and  member  of  the  council.  Near  the  home 
of  Menefie  was  the  tract  of  Ralph  Hamor,  Dale's  secretary  of  state,  who 
died  in  1626.  Farther  west  were  the  holdings  of  John  Chew,  a  merchant 
(1624),  and  of  Richard  Stephens  (1623),  who  had  personal  difficulties 
with  John  Harvey,  and  who  later  appears  to  have  been  a  party  to  the 
first  duel  fought  in  an  English  colony.  North  of  the  "Back  Streete" 
and  west  of  Pott's  holdings  were  those  of  Edward  Blaney  (a  merchant), 
Capt.  Roger  Smith,  and  Capt.  William  Pierce,  whose  house  George 
Sandys,  in  1623,  pronounced  "the  fairest  in  Virginia." 

Near  the  river,  in  the  "New  Towne"  section,  stood  the  First  State- 
house  (14)  in  Virginia.  Foundations  here  (now  partly  exposed  and  partly 
marked)  are  thought  to  be  those  of  this  significant  structure.  It  served 
the  colony  from  1641  to  1656.  In  it,  during  the  early  governorship  of  Sir 
William  Berkeley,  were  discussed  the  measures  needful  for  the  govern- 
ment of  the  growing  colony.  Here,  too,  the  colony  gave  its  submission 
to  the  commonwealth  government  of  Oliver  Cromwell  in  England  in 
1652,  and  Richard  Bennett  was  chosen  as  governor  by  the  assembly  to 
succeed  Berkeley. 

Even  the  designation  "New  Towne"  was  forgotten  in  the  years  after 
1650  when  the  area,  including  street  alinement,  changed  considerably. 
Those  living  in  houses  here  or  owning  property  in  Jamestown's  east  end 
then  included  Sherwood,  Thomas  Rabley,  James  Alsop,  Richard  Holder, 
William  Edwards,  and  Henry  Hartwell,  one  of  the  founders  of  the 
College  of  William  and  Mary.  The  scanty  remains  of  Hartwell's  Frame 


An  early  baking  oven  of  clay 
reconstructed  from  fragments 
found  in  the  excavations  at 

House  (15)  are  believed  to  have  been  identified  and  they  are  marked.  In 
this  instance  the  discovery  of  a  preponderance  of  "H-H"  initialed  wine 
bottle  seals  furnished  a  helpful  identity  clue. 

The  fl 'Country  House"  (16)  in  this  early  period  lay  in  the  "New  Towne" 
section.  Perhaps  a  number  of  houses  stood  here  on  the  same  site  prior  to 
the  first  brick  structure  that  bears  this  designation.  In  excavations  on  the 
site,  the  foundations  of  the  brick  building  were  found,  including  ex- 
cellent specimens  of  ornamental  plaster  which  may  have  adorned  this 
structure  or  that  of  a  later  private  residence  of  William  Sherwood,  which 
was  found  to  have  occupied  the  same  site.  Its  foundations  are  visible. 

Dominating  the  scene  today  in  this  area  are  the  ruined  walls  of  the 
J aquelin- Ambler  House  (17).  These  are  a  testimony  of  the  late  colonial 
period  (18th  century)  when  Jamestown  Island  was  no  longer  the  seat  of 
government  and  when,  as  the  town  declined,  the  island  became  the  pri- 
vate estate  of  two  families— Ambler  and  Travis.  The  present  walls  of  the 
Ambler  House  constitute  the  center  portion  of  a  rather  impressive  resi- 
dence that  was  flanked  by  two  wings.  It  was  begun  about  1710  and  when 
fully  established,  had  formal  gardens,  the  brick  walls  of  which  were 
partly  uncovered  during  archeological  work  on  the  townsite.  Its  con- 
struction is  thought  to  have  obliterated  all  trace  of  Richard  Kemp's 
house,  the  first  recorded  all-brick  house  in  Virginia. 

Between  the  Ambler  House  ruins  and  the  Visitor  Center  stood  a  "long 
house"  (18),  one  made  of  several  sections  with  common  connecting  walls. 
Its  long  walls  have  been  outlined  on  the  ground  as  it  stood  some  three 
centuries  ago.  Behind  this  site  are  the  original  ruins  (displayed  under 
cover)  of  an  early  building  that  appears  from  its  fireboxes  and  other 
features  to  have  served  some,  but  as  yet  unidentified,  "manufacturing" 


purpose.  Near  it,  unmistakeable  evidences  of  pottery  manufacturing 
have  been  found.  This  particular  locality  has  evidences,  too,  of  other 
types  of  workmanship.  Perhaps,  for  a  time,  it  was  a  kind  of r' 'Production 
Center"  (19)  in  Jamestown. 

The  story  of  Jamestown  is  not  all  concerned  with  the  townsite  itself. 
Much  of  it  deals  with  farming  and  other  activities  on  the  island  sur- 
rounding the  town  except  on  the  river  front,  and  especially  to  the  east. 
The  Island  Drive  is  a  motor  road  that  gives  access  to  this  island  area. 
Starting  from  the  central  parking  area,  it  traverses  the  island's  1,559-5 
acres  of  marsh  and  woodland.  The  full  drive  is  about  5  miles  although 
it  has  a  shorter  3-mile  loop.  Natural  features  are  named  and  markers 
carry  legends  about  the  land  and  the  people.  Large  paintings  here  and 
there  picture  the  life  of  the  times  in  daily  activities  such  as  winemak- 
ing,  tobacco-growing,  and  lumbering.  After  passing  the  Confederate  Fort 
(20),  you  come  to  Black  Point  (21)  at  the  east  end  of  the  island  where 
there  is  an  excellent  view  of  the  lower  reaches  of  the  James  River.  Then 
the  loop  takes  you  past  the  Travis  Graveyard  (22)  and  The  Pond  (23), 
where  Lawrence  Bohun  collected  herbs  for  medical  experiment  in  1610. 

The  one-way  tour  road  loops  back  to  the  parking  area  and  to  the 
isthmus  connecting  the  island  and  Glasshouse  Point  on  the  mainland,  so 
named  because  the  colonists,  in  1608,  undertook  to  produce  glass  at 
this  location.  Here  are  exhibited  the  Original  Glass  Furnace  Ruins  (24) 

Winemaking  as  it  may  have  been  practiced  at  Jamestown  three  cen- 
turies ago.  (A  painting  by  Sidney  E.  King.) 


the  remains  of  the  first  attempt  to  produce  glass  in  America.  Nearby  is 
a  Working  Furnace  (25)  of  the  same  type  housed  in  a  thatch-covered 
building  constructed  in  the  manner  of  those  used  in  Virginia  and  Eng- 
land three  and  a  half  centuries  ago.  The  Jamestown  Glasshouse  Founda- 
tion, Inc.,  representing  a  number  of  leading  American  glass  companies, 
helped  to  make  this  possible.  The  Foundation  operates  the  furnace  and 
in  season  the  blowing  of  glass  in  the  old  way  can  be  observed.  Hand- 
made glass  objects  can  be  purchased. 

The  tour  of  Jamestown  ends  here  at  the  "Glasshouse."  From  this 
point  the  Colonial  Parkway  leads  to  Williamsburg  and  Yorktown. 
Following  this  route  you  can  read  history  on  the  spot  in  the  order  it 

A  building,  such  as  may  have  been  used  in  1608—09,  houses  the  glass- 
making  exhibit  on  Glasshouse  Point. 


How  to  Reach  Jamestown 

Jamestown  Island  is  easily  reached  over  the  Colonial  Parkway  from 
Williamsburg  only  10  miles  away.  Williamsburg  is  the  nearest  rail  and 
bus  terminal  and  the  closest  point  of  concentration  of  housing  and 
eating  facilities.  The  approach  from  the  south  is  over  State  Routes  10 
and  31  to  the  ferry  over  the  James  River  from  Scotland  to  Glasshouse 
Point  near  the  Jamestown  Entrance  Gate.  From  Richmond  and  points 
to  the  West,  State  Routes  5  and  31  can  be  used  without  entering 

About  Your  Visit 

Jamestown  is  open  daily,  except  on  Christmas  Day,  from  9  a.  m.  to 
6  p.  m.  from  April  1  to  September  30  and  9  a.  m.  to  5  p.  m.  the  rest 
of  the  year.  A  single  admission  of  50  cents  per  person  is  collected  at 
the  Entrance  Gate  on  Glasshouse  Point.  However,  during  the  350th 
Jamestown  Anniversary  Festival  season  in  1957  this  charge  is  a  part  of, 
and  included  in,  a  $1  per  person  admission  including  all  of  Jamestown 
and  nearby  Festival  Park  with  its  reconstructed  "James  Fort,"  ship 
replicas,  and  other  features.  All  school  students  18  years  of  age  and  under, 
when  in  groups,  and  all  children  under  12  are  admitted  without  charge 
when  accompanied  by  adults  assuming  responsibility  for  their  orderly 
conduct.  Organizations  and  groups  are  given  special  service  if  arrange- 
ments are  made  in  advance.  All  visitors  are  urged  to  go  first  to  the 
Jamestown  Visitor  Center  where  literature,  information,  and  a  special 
program  are  available. 

No  eating  or  lodging  facilities  are  available  at  Jamestown.  There  is, 
however,  a  restaurant  and  picnic  ground  in  the  Virginia  State  Festival 
Park  at  Glasshouse  Point. 


Jamestown  Island  (except  Jamestown  National  Historic  Site  adminis- 
tered and  maintained  by  the  Association  for  the  Preservation  of  Virginia 
Antiquities)  is  part  of  Colonial  National  Historical  Park.  The  park  also 
includes  Yorktown  Battlefield,  Colonial  Parkway,  and  Cape  Henry 
Memorial.  It  is  administered  by  the  National  Park  Service  of  the  United 
States  Department  of  the  Interior. 

Inquiries  relating  to  the  Association  for  the  Preservation  of  Virginia 
Antiquities  area  should  be  addressed  to  that  Association,  Jamestown, 
Va.;  those  relating  to  the  National  Park  Service  area  to  the  Superin- 
tendent, Colonial  National  Historical  Park,  Yorktown,  Va. 


Suggested  Readings 

Andrews,  Matthew  Page.  Virginia:  The  Old  Dominion.  Doubleday 
Doran.  New  York.  1937. 

Chandler,  J.  A.  C,  and  Thames,  T.  B.  Colonial  Virginia.  Times- 
Dispatch  Company.  Richmond,  Va.  1907. 

Forman,  Henry  Chandlee.  Jamestown  and  St.  Mary's:  Buried  Cities  of 
Romance.  The  Johns  Hopkins  Press.  Baltimore.  1938. 

Hatch,  Charles  E.,  Jr.  The  First  Seventeen  Years:  Virginia,  1607-1623. 
Jamestown  350th  Anniversary  Historical  Booklet  No.  6.  Virginia 
350th  Anniversary  Celebration  Corporation.  Williamsburg,  Va.  1957. 

Stanard,  Mary  Newton.  The  Story  of  Virginia's  First  Century.  J.  B. 
Lippincott.  Philadelphia.  1928. 

Tyler,  Lyon  Gardiner.  The  Cradle  of  the  Republic:  Jamestown  and 
James  River.  Ed.  2.  The  Hermitage  Press.  Richmond,  Va.  1906. 

Wertenbaker,  Thomas  Jefferson.  The  First  Americans  1607-1690. 
A  History  of  American  Life  Series,  Vol.  II.  The  Macmillan  Com- 
pany. New  York.  1927. 

Wright,  Louis  B.  Atlantic  Frontier:  Colonial  American  Civilization: 
1607-1761.  Alfred  A.  Knopf.  New  York.  1947. 

Yonge,  Samuel  H.  The  Site  of  Old  'James  Towne"  1607-1698.  The 
Hermitage  Press.  Richmond,  Va.  1907. 


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